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Wanted: Volunteers for Special Olympics

Written by Kate Harner


IMG_0006_1.jpgWillimantic, CT - Volunteers are needed for the 31st Annual Windham Invitational Special Olympics Swim Meet, which will be held on March 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Windham High School on High St. Volunteers must return the registration form before Feb. 28.


IMG_2198.jpg            Eastern Professor Charles Wynn, who has been the swim meet director for the last 16 years, estimates more than 350 volunteers will be needed to make the event the largest and most successful Special Olympics Swim Meet in Connecticut. Volunteers, who are each paired with one athlete, assist the participants in registering for events, cheering on their efforts and involving them with activities when they are not swimming. In addition, volunteers will be needed for sports clinics, food service and water safety.


IMG_0313.jpg            "More than 200 athletes with intellectual disabilities from Connecticut and Massachusetts are expected to register for the event," said Wynn. "In addition to swim competition, clinics are offered in various sports, aerobics and arts and crafts."

            Volunteers will be provided with lunch and a souvenir Windham Special Olympics T-shirt. The event is approved for community service credit. Volunteer forms may be picked up at the main office in Eastern's Sports Center.

            The Special Olympics is a year-round program of physical fitness, sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

            According to a study conducted at Yale University, Special Olympics athletes perform better at school, at work and at home the longer they participate in the program. The study found that the Special Olympics has a direct and positive effect on their self-image and ability to function in a social setting. They acquire skills that help them gain employment, maintain relationships, function independently and contribute to community life.

            For more information, please contact Charles Wynn at (860) 465-5258 or Geri White at (860) 455-9196.


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