BISMARCK, N.D. — More than 400 athletes and volunteers from across the U.S. and Canada will be in Bismarck this week for the Special Olympics North America Softball Championship.

Twenty-eight teams will compete at the Clem Kelley Softball Complex Friday through Sunday. North Dakota team coach Stacy Christian says that besides the competition, it’s an opportunity for the athletes to build friendships, stay active and be involved in their community.

Participant Ray Carlson tells the Bismarck Tribune he’s been involved in Special Olympics since he was 13. At age 39, Carlson says he plays softball and kickball every week with Community Options, an organization that serves people with disabilities. Carlson says he likes his team’s chances in the championship competition. After all, they have home field advantage.

Information from: Bismarck Tribune,

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