California Rehabilitation Center's Lt. Armano Balderrama, back row at left, and Associate Warden Robert Bandholtz, back row right, joined other law enforcement officials for the spring games of the Special Olympics in Southern California.

California Rehabilitation Center’s Lt. Armano Balderrama, back row second from left, and Associate Warden Robert Bandholtz, back row right, joined other law enforcement officials for the spring games of the Special Olympics in Southern California.

CDCR employees cheer on competitors at spring games in Murrieta

By Lt. Sarah Watson, AA/Public Information Officer
California Rehabilitation Center

Lt. Armando Balderrama places a medal on a Special Olympics athlete and shakes his hand.

Lt. Armando Balderrama places a medal on a Special Olympics athlete and shakes his hand.

California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) Associate Warden of Programs Robert Bandholtz and Lt. Armando Balderrama recently joined other law enforcement participants at the 2015 Special Olympics Southern California – Inland Empire Regional Spring Games held at Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta.

Law enforcement officers share a special relationship with the athletes and play a large part in making the tournament a very special experience for everyone involved.

Special Olympics encourages officers in uniform to be a part of opening ceremonies, high-five athletes as they begin their day in the parade of athletes, and also present medals throughout the day.

“I appreciate the opportunity to join with fellow peace officers and give back to our community,” said Lt. Balderrama. “The looks on the kids’ faces are priceless.”

What is Special Olympics?

“Special Olympics Southern California is a nonprofit organization that empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. It is one of 52 Chapters within the United States and part of Special Olympics, Inc., which serves 3 million athletes in 180 countries worldwide,” according to the organization’s website.

(Editor’s note: Some websites may not be accessible from a CDCR computer.)

Learn more, https://www.sosc.org/