Special Olympics New York Launches First-Ever eSports Season to Keep the Thrill of Competition Alive for Athletes This Winter

Sponsorship Opportunities Are Available

Albany, NY – Special Olympics New York today announced open registration for its first-ever eSports season available to athletes throughout the state.

Following the success of an eSports pilot this summer, Special Olympics New York is once again partnering with recreational eSports platform Mission Control to facilitate gameplay. Athletes will compete in Rocket League Hockey as individuals or as Unified teams comprised of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities.

“If there’s anything we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that being socially distant won’t keep us apart,” said Special Olympics New York President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “The eSports season is one of our newest efforts to keep the thrill of competition alive for our athletes while also providing an opportunity for them to engage with one another socially.”

Participating athletes will stay physically active as well, committing to a mobility training program that their coaches will oversee as part of the eSports season. The eight-week eSports season will begin in the next couple weeks and culminate with championship games in February. All athletes will play from the safety of their homes via Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, or personal computer.

“Thanks to everyone who has made it possible for us to compete in eSports,” said Special Olympics New York Athlete Jacob Booher-Babcock of the Genesee Region. “It’s going to be amazing!”

“I think this league is really awesome,” said Special Olympics New York athlete Omar Barry of the Southern Tier Region. “It is really nice to be able to make new friends and play against each other for fun.”

As with all Special Olympics New York programs, there is no fee for athlete participation. However, due to financial constraint on the organization as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Special Olympics New York is unable to provide athletes with game consoles. Interested sponsors may contact Renee Snyder at rsnyder@nyso.org for more information.

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About Special Olympics New York

Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 68,000 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, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.com, making it one of the most trusted charities in the business nationally. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.

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