Special Olympics New York and Saratoga Regional YMCA Partner to Launch Young Athletes Program

Friday, March 22, 2019

SPRINGS, NY — Special Olympics New York and the Saratoga Regional YMCA have partnered to launch an inclusive sports program for children with and without intellectual disabilities called Young Athletes. Young Athletes is a free 10-week program designed for children ages 2-7. It introduces children to basic sport skills, like running, kicking and throwing. The program which is open to the community, offers families, teachers, and caregivers the chance to share the joy of sports with all children.

Media are invited to attend an official program kick-off Sunday, March 24th at 12:30 pm at the Saratoga Regional YMCA’s Wilton Branch, located at 20 Old Gick Road, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. The Young Athletes Program will immediately follow at 1:00pm.

The program kicked off Sunday, March 3rd at the Saratoga Regional YMCA’s Wilton branch.  Young Athletes meets every Sunday now through April 28th and will rotate throughout three of the five SRYMCA locations using program space such as the field house, gymnasium, gymnastics center and group exercise classrooms. The program fosters motor skills development, as well as cognitive and social skill development through participation in age-appropriate and fun activities. YMCA staff and volunteers work one-on-one and in small groups with children rotating through various activity stations.

The introduction of routine physical activity at a young age sets the stage for a healthier lifestyle, and encourages friendships and learning,” said Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “This program can be life changing for those who participate – bringing fun, inclusive play opportunities for children with and without intellectual differences as well as their parents, families, and communities. Thank you to Saratoga Regional YMCA for partnering with us to champion the Young Athletes Program and make a lasting difference in children’s lives.”

“The YMCA as an organization believes that all children, no matter their ability, deserve the opportunity to grow as individuals through programs and services like Young Athletes,” said Steve Butler, Membership and Program Executive for the Saratoga Regional YMCA. “I can’t think of a better organization than Special Olympics New York to partner with, facilitate and advance adaptive programming at the Saratoga Regional YMCA. Young Athletes is just the beginning.”

To learn more about the Saratoga Regional YMCA Young Athletes Program, please contact Steve Butler at steve.butler@srymca.org or visit www.srymca.org. For information about additional Young Athletes Programs in the Capital District please visit www.specialolympicsny.org.


About Special Olympics New York
Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving nearly 68,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with nearly 150 schools statewide to offer unified sports. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers.  Learn more at www.SpecialOlympicsNY.org. #SpecialOlympicsNY  #PutMeInCoach


About the Saratoga Regional YMCA
The Saratoga Regional YMCA is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that strives to nurture youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Saratoga Regional YMCA has branches in Corinth, Greenwich, Malta, Saratoga Springs and Wilton. The Saratoga Regional YMCA relies on people of caring and commitment who realize that a vibrant, mission-focused YMCA in their community ensures that everyone has the opportunity to live, grow and thrive.