Special Olympics New York Announces First-Ever Sports Season at Home
1,500 Athletes & Coaches Begin Training for Statewide Competition
Albany, NY – Special Olympics New York today announced the first Sports Season At Home in its 50-year history. The statewide competition is the latest in a series of options the organization has provided for athletes since suspending traditional sports training and competition at the onset of COVID-19.
“Special Olympics New York athletes live for the thrill of training and competition, and we have sorely missed bringing that to them during the ongoing health crisis,” said Special Olympics New York President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “In recent months, our athletes throughout New York have remained focused on training, participating in our eight-week virtual program, getting together for online team workouts and more. Now, they’re ready to take it to the next level.”
Nearly 1,500 athletes and coaches throughout the state have begun training for statewide competition in 12 fitness and sports skills events as part of the Sports Season At Home. Athletes will work with their coaches to submit top scores in up to four events over the next month. Final results will be posted online, and athletes will be recognized during a virtual celebration at the end of June.
“The Sports Season At Home couldn’t come at a better time,” said Special Olympics New York Coach of the Year Joe Amadeo, of Long Island. “Athletes are starting to feel the effects of social isolation and, quite frankly, so am I. This competition gives us a chance to be a team again and to have something to look forward to during these tough times. We are excited and proud to be back doing what we do best – training and competing!”
“I’m excited to have a new training goal to work toward, and to be able to go up against athletes from all over the state again,” said Special Olympics New York Athlete Kathleen Maggi, of New York City. “It’s been hard to keep up with my training since we’ve had to stay home but our friends and coaches at Special Olympics New York are keeping us busy. We’ll be game-ready to when we can be back together in person!”
Special Olympics New York’s in-person sports training and competition is currently suspended through the end of June. The organization provided nine weeks of daily virtual training for athletes, beginning in March, and continues to bring its community together for a live meeting and workout every Friday.
Special Olympics New York thanks the following 2020 State Summer Games sponsors for continuing their support of athletes through the Sports Season At Home: Abilities First, Adams Family Farms, Anderson Center for Autism, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Chobani, Greystone Programs, Jovia Financial, M&T Bank, Mid-Hudson Wendico, Inc., Million Dollar Round Table Foundation and Turk Hospitality Group.
About Special Olympics New York
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 67,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with more than 220 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.