SUNYAC Holds Third Annual SUNYAC SAAC-Special Olympics NY Bowling Event

The SUNYAC held its third annual SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee)-Special Olympics NY Bowling event, Sunday, April 21 at Apex Entertainment in Destiny Mall.

Over 50 Special Olympians and SUNYAC student-athletes teamed up for a competitive round at the lanes and then sat down together to share lunch with family and friends.

The SUNYAC SAAC runs their annual Special Olympics event during their yearly two-day retreat in Syracuse. Student-athletes from across the league’s 10 member institutions travel to join together as a conference and to connect with each other outside of competition. In addition to the Special Olympics event, the retreat also includes self-development and instructional guest speakers, a business meeting and several group activities.

SUNYAC SAAC President Amanda Cohen is a junior women’s soccer student-athlete majoring in nursing at Plattsburgh. Cohen has participated in the SAAC-Special Olympics events over the last three years. “This bowling event is what I look forward to every year when coming to the SUNYAC SAAC retreat. It’s so nice to see the returning athletes and meeting new ones.”

Diane Budnar is a special Olympian who was able to connect with the SUNYAC student-athletes in between knocking down pins and while sitting down for lunch. “I really enjoyed the event because it was nice to get to know some of the SUNYAC student-athletes,” Diane said. “I liked talking with Amanda about Plattsburgh and Nick about his criminology classes at New Paltz.”

Ali Camardella, a Special Olympian added, “It was a lot of fun bowling with the SUNYAC on Sunday. I enjoyed talking to some of the students and learning what they do.”

Each participant received an event t-shirt and the Special Olympians were named to the SUNYAC Bowling All-Conference team and given a customized medal at the awards ceremony that capped off the day.

“I loved the shirts we got and I liked getting a medal with my name on it,” Diane expressed. “I just loved hanging out with the SUNYAC students. They were lots of fun.”

Amanda agreed, “I know myself and all the athletes involved had a lot of fun Sunday and made new friends. It’s been great to see this event grow over the years and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Originally published on SUNYAC’s website.