Spring Games South for Special Olympics New York is the largest competition of its kind on Long Island and, this year, will take place at Islip High School on June 6. More than 500 athletes are expected to participate, and more than 150 coaches as well as more than 150 volunteers are anticipated to help prepare and facilitate the event.
“We are proud of our work in support of our athletes, and we hope you will join us this year in honoring these very special individuals,” wrote Terry Going, the Islip event director for Spring Games South, in a press release.
Special Olympics New York offers 23 Olympic-style events, and this year’s Spring Games South will feature track and field as well as powerlifting, said Tim Flynn, the senior director of program for the organization.
“Islip is in its first year of a two-year commitment,” said Flynn, who is also the president and CEO of nonprofit Everything Special Needs, Inc. as well as a parent and a special-needs consultant. “We empower volunteers to help us with these games through the Games Organizing Committee.”
Schools and teams from all over Long Island will be participating, and those who wish to participate are able to sign up through mid-May, three weeks prior to the event. Those eager to volunteer are eligible to register up until the day of the event.
“We are the largest sport organization in the world for people with intellectual disabilities,” said Going, who is also the president of the Islip Booster Club, adding that 2020 is the 50th year of Special Olympics New York. “This gives them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes and the community.”
“We are honored to host such an important event for Long Island showcasing our athletes who have worked so hard to achieve their goals,” said Islip Schools superintendent Dr. Ellen Semel, excited for a big turnout. “All of our community groups, including PTA, Booster Club, and our Athletes Helping Athletes will be actively participating and supporting this event. We also have the support of a number of local officials, including town supervisor Angie Carpenter and Legis. Tom Cilmi.”
Going encouraged companies, organizations and families to donate to the event. Donations are tax deductible, and those that do donate will be recognized at the event.
Spring Games North will be occurring in Farmingdale this year, on May 17.
Special Olympics Long Island is the largest chapter in North America and the sixth largest worldwide, representing more than 67,000 athletes across the state. The chapter hosts more than 400 competitions per year. It is emphasized that all events are prepared and funded at no cost to the athletes, their families and their caregivers. n