ROCK HILL, S.C. — What’s now 15 acres of mostly dirt in Rock Hill will soon become the area’s only large-scale, inclusive sports park.
Miracle Park will be a unique place for athletes of all ages and abilities.
Josh Myers, 31, is a world gold medalist weightlifter in the Special Olympics.
On Wednesday, he stood with hundreds of others outside the Winthrop Coliseum, to help break ground on something he never imagined as a kid.
“I’m so excited for the opportunity for all kids,” Myers told the crowd, which included the state’s governor, a congressman and other dignitaries.
Patti Myers is Josh’s mother. She’s watched him grow up competing in Special Olympics and in the World Games last year. She’s also a special education teacher in Clover.
“We cannot wait for Miracle Park to be open,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for Rock Hill.”
Myers brought with her, other children with special needs from her class at Clover High School. The kids face many challenges, but not when they come to Miracle Park.
“Our kids in wheelchairs, on walkers, will have just as much opportunity as students that run in these fields,” Myers said.
That’s because, once built, Miracle Park will have fields for baseball, soccer, golf, football, basketball and a fishing pond that are completely accessible to all. The areas are built using materials and designs aimed at preventing injury and promoting equal opportunity. The goal is to level the playing field.
Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys said, “How do we as people make sure we’re opening our eyes so that we see everyone in our community?”
Miracle Park is clearly one answer.
In addition to the athletic fields, there will also be opportunities for people with special needs to work at the park. Officials are planning for a coffee shop, concessions and possibly more.
Gov. Henry McMaster was in Rock Hill for the groundbreaking.
“This Miracle Park is a further example, a beacon, of how strong and great the people of South Carolina are,” he said.
Several major donors have already pitched in thousands of dollars to get construction started.
The developer, Warren Norman, is developing the park at no charge.
However, the park does have a price tag of about $8 million. About half of the money has been raised and fundraising is ongoing.
The first phase of the park should be finished by late summer.
If you’d like to donate to help build Miracle Park, you can find more info here.