The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation recently donated $8,000 worth of sports equipment to Special Olympics Florida – Collier County. The equipment will be used by Collier athletes who participate in tennis, basketball, track & field, bocce, soccer, golf, aquatics, and flag football.
According to Special Olympics County Director David McKenzie, “We are so thankful for this generous donation. We currently have more than 700 athletes and unified partners who participate in our year-round sports training and competition programs, and that number continues to grow quickly. The equipment donated by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation will help us serve these individuals for years to come.”
On Thursday, June 9 at the Greater Naples YMCA, McKenzie presented a plaque to Flynn Burch, Senior Director of State Initiatives and Programs for the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, to thank the organization on behalf of the local Special Olympics organization.
Special Olympics Florida – Collier County, a volunteer-driven organization, offers a year-round sports program that includes training and competition in aquatics, golf, bowling, basketball, track and field, cycling, soccer, bocce, tennis, flag football, and standup paddle for persons eight years of age and older with intellectual disabilities, all at no cost to the athletes and their families. All individuals with intellectual disabilities are welcome, with no upper age limit.
The organization also offers two additional programs specifically for younger athletes. The Young Athletes Program, for 2- to 7-year-olds, helps teach basic movement and sports skills to children with intellectual disabilities and to their siblings and peers without disabilities. The second program, Project UNIFY, is a school-based initiative that encourages all young people, with and without disabilities, to participate in athletic and leadership activities together.
Special Olympics Florida – Collier County’s programs are possible because of the dedication of hundreds of volunteers who organize, coach, publicize, raise funds, and administer the organization. All financial support for Special Olympics Florida – Collier County comes from local businesses, organizations, and individuals.
To become a volunteer coach for any sport or to sign up to participate as an athlete or a Unified Partner, please call Special Olympics Florida – Collier County at 239-775-1991, or go to www.specialolympicscollier.org. The organization is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsCollierCounty.