St. Mary’s City, Md. – April Fool’s Day was a fun and joyful one but not for the typical shenanigans and pranks that occur on April 1st as the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Student-Athlete Advisory Committee put together an all-sports field day for Special Olympics Maryland – St. Mary’s County Chapter.
Scott Devine, director of athletics and recreation at St. Mary’s, expressed, “What a great afternoon featuring St. Mary’s College student-athletes and other student volunteers enjoying time with so many local Special Olympians and their families.”
At least 100 student-athletes helped out at the first-ever Special Olympics field day. The over 25 Special Olympians in attendance participated in nearly 10 events, such as an obstacle course put on by the men’s cross country team, face painting by the women’s lacrosse squad and Frisbee golf sponsored by the men’s swim team.
“Our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as a group was really committed to making this event happen. They spent a great deal of time planning the program, and they encouraged their fellow teammates to turnout in big numbers to participate. It was fun to watch the Special Olympians taking part in basketball, lacrosse, soccer, Frisbee, face painting, and many other activities,” continued Devine.
It was a potluck affair as well as the student-athletes brought snacks and beverages to maintain the Special Olympians’ energy level at a 100%.
Devine stated, “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Special Olympics on the local level just as the NCAA is at the national level, as Special Olympics is simply a wonderful organization that exists to truly enrich lives.”
Devine expressed his gratitude to Mary Lu Bucci of Special Olympics Maryland – St. Mary’s County Chapter for bringing the Special Olympians to the field day as well as to Stephanie Guzzo, one of the SAAC advisors, and the student-athletes for organizing and putting on a great event.
Guzzo added, “It was a great event for all the athletes both from St. Mary's and the Special Olympics. The weather was perfect and everyone had a lot of fun. It was great to see all the athletes and families playing games together. The SAAC did a great job planning and putting everything together. I am very proud of them and of how it turned out. I’m glad we have this partnership and I’m looking forward to many years of events just like this.”
About NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Special Olympics Partnership: The partnership was announced at the NCAA Convention in January 2011. The partnership is designed to improve the lives of Special Olympics athletes through their involvement with Division III student-athletes and to foster a mutual learning experience between Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics. The community outreach effort will link hundreds of SAACs at Division III institutions and conference offices with local Special Olympics Programs in each state.