Special Olympics family gets honored

Special Olympics family gets honored
Joey Willock (Source: WALB)
Joey Willock (Source: WALB)
Gerri Willock (Source: WALB)
Gerri Willock (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany family was named as the most outstanding Special Olympics family in Georgia. The Willock family has been involved with the Special Olympics for many years.

Joey Willock is a dedicated and talented athlete, and his parents do all they can to help him and other Special Olympians.

The family was recently recognized as the Special Olympics Georgia "Outstanding Family of the Year."

"Well I got me the best family in the world," said Joey.

"It's very humbling to be awarded something for something that you love and especially for somebody that you love," said mother Gerri Willock.

37-year-old Joey Willock has down syndrome and has been traveling and competing in the Special Olympics since grade school. He was one of the first special needs athletes to join the Special Olympics through the Albany Recreation & Parks Department in 2008.

"I do tennis skills. I played softball two years and bocce and bowling," said Joey.

Joey's favorite sport is bowling - a unified sport in the Special Olympics that he competes in along with his dad Chuck.

Gerri and Chuck are not only dedicated to supporting their son, but other special needs athletes as well; either financially or through encouragement.

"Some athletes don't have families that can come and share in the experience so Chuck and I you know we just give them all the at-a-boys that they can have," said Gerri.

Joey's latest accomplishment is this gold medal he won in the tennis skills competition at the State Summer Games at Emory University.

"It makes me feel great," said Joey.

The Willock Family would like to see more athletes get involved with the Special Olympics through the Albany Rec and Parks Department.

Joey's next competition is the striker's tournament on July 29 at Bowl-A-Rama.

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