More than 2,100 Special Olympics athletes from across Indiana will make the trip to Indianapolis for state-level competitions over three weekends, kicking off Sept. 10 at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory Academy.
Special Olympics Indiana will host its second largest sporting event of the year next month, as state tournaments in seven sports are held Sept. 10, Sept. 15-16, and Sept. 23 around Indianapolis.
Delegations representing 48 Special Olympics county programs from across the state will participate in the organization’s annual Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS) Games, named in honor of the Special Olympics founder and 2017 Arthur Ashe Courage Award winner. A total of 2,126 athletes with intellectual disabilities are registered for one or more of the events.
“This is one of the most exciting times of the year for our athletes, volunteers, families, and staff,” said Special Olympics Indiana President and CEO Michael Furnish. “As these Games have grown over the years, the enthusiasm and excitement on display here in our state’s capital really go a long way toward honoring Mrs. Shriver’s legacy and promoting her vision for the Special Olympics movement.”
The 2017 EKS Games begin Sunday, Sept. 10 at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory Academy, where more than 1,600 athletes, coaches, and partners will take part in state competitions for volleyball, flag football, corn toss, and distance run/walk. Competition and other activities are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Approximately 400 Brebeuf students will again volunteer at the event, led by the school’s 25-member Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT)—which annually works with Special Olympics Indiana staff to plan and execute all facets of the day.
“The student leaders at Brebeuf Jesuit are among the brightest and most dedicated group of volunteers that we have the pleasure of working with each year,” Furnish said. “Their commitment to serving Special Olympics athletes and providing them a fantastic experience through this event is remarkable—and we are, as always, incredibly grateful for their support.”
Free health screenings also will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of Special Olympics’ ongoing Healthy Athletes® and Healthy Communities® initiatives, dedicated to improving health and wellness among people with intellectual disabilities worldwide.
The Games resume Sept. 15-16 at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex, where more than 70 riders will compete in Special Olympics Indiana’s state Equestrian competition. The event includes a diverse lineup of English and Western-style challenges, with competition from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
And finally, on Sept. 23, more than 300 golfers will compete at Hickory Stick Golf Club, while sectional champions from across the state will take part in Special Olympics Indiana’s state softball tournament at Midwest Sports Complex . Competitions will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., respectively, and each event will feature both traditional and unified contests—bringing athletes with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team and the same playing field as a means of promoting inclusion and fostering friendship.
All EKS Games events are free and open to the public, and fans are encouraged to attend.
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ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS INDIANA
Special Olympics Indiana is a not-for-profit organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in more than 20 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, reaching more than 13,000 athletes across Indiana. The organization receives no federal or state appropriated funds, is not a United Way agency, and relies entirely on corporate, civic and individual donations. For more information about Special Olympics Indiana, call (317) 328-2000 or visit www.soindiana.org.
ABOUT BREBEUF JESUIT PREPARATORY SCHOOL
Brebeuf Jesuit, a Catholic and Jesuit School, provides an excellent college preparatory education for a lifetime of service by forming leaders who are intellectually competent, open to growth, loving, religious, and committed to promoting justice. Fostering a culture of understanding and dialogue, Brebeuf Jesuit seeks and welcomes students from diverse religious, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Students at Brebeuf are called to cultivate the fullness of the God-given talents as acts of worship. Learn more at brebeuf.org.