Over 100 athletes attend 21st annual Special Athletics

Marina McGowan

The Physical Therapy Club sponsored the 21st annual Special Athletics “Under the Sea” Field Day on April 13. More than 100 local athletes attended the event, which took place in the gymnasium.
Registration forms that were sent to group homes and private residences in the North Haven, New Haven, West Haven and Hamden areas notified the athletes about the Field Day.
The Marrackech Company had four residential houses, including the Lake Street Group Home located in West Haven, Knollwood House, Racebrook House, and Cortina House.
Each athlete who attended had the opportunity to take part in arts and crafts (relating to the “Under the Sea” theme) and other activities, including an obstacle course, bingo, go fish, checkers, mini golf, a beanbag toss, and basketball, followed by a barbecue. Additional pastimes included a performance by the Dance Company, a clown, and a D.J.
Many individuals and organizations donated their time to the event. Members of Community Action Project, Alpha Chi Omega, S.O.T.A., the Dance Company, and Phi Sigma Sigma acted as “buddy huggers,” which are people who pair up with an athlete and escort them around to the different events. Local businesses, some which include Pasta Plus, Foxon Park Soda, and Eli’s on Whitney, also contributed to the event.
“The Special Athletics was a great opportunity for the students and athletes to get out and interact, participate in different activities, and meet new people,” said senior and Physical Therapy Club president Jenn Marotto.
One staff member from the Lake Street Group Home said that the day brought a good atmosphere to the athletes. Six athletes came with us from the home and each of them became very involved and very motivated by the students she said.
“You can tell that they had a really great time,” said junior Physical Therapy Club board member Amy Tritt. “They had the chance to get out of the homes and meet different people. Each time they come they make new friends and they look forward to each year because they get to see them again. They become very excited and it is great to see them happy.”