Record Numbers Expected at Special Olympics Indiana’s 2019 ‘Eunice Kennedy Shriver Games’ in September
Thousands of Special Olympics athletes and unified partners from across Indiana will participate in state-level competitions over three weekends, kicking off Sept. 8 at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory Academy.
INDIANAPOLIS — Special Olympics Indiana will host its second largest annual sporting event next month, as state tournaments in seven sports conclude Sept. 8, Sept. 14, and Sept. 21 around Indianapolis.
Delegations representing 66 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. Over 3,000 total competitors will be a part of the Games and qualifying events leading up to the state finals.
“We’re obviously pleased to see our participation rate continue to grow each year, because that means we are reaching more and more people with intellectual disabilities and connecting them with opportunities to experience the joy of competition,” said Special Olympics Indiana President and CEO Jeff Mohler. “We strive each year to live up to the example set by Mrs. Shriver—and I think she would be proud to have her name associated with this event and to see how far we’ve come in the last 50 years.”
The 2019 EKS Games begin Sunday, Sept. 8 at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory Academy (2801 W. 86th St., Indianapolis), where more than 1,800 athletes, coaches, and Unified 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.
Nearly 500 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 event is the culmination of months of planning for staff and students, showcasing the entire school community’s dedication to service.
The Games resume Sept. 14 at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex (1900 E. Main St., Danville), where dozens of athletes will compete in the organization’s state equestrian competition. The event includes a diverse lineup of English and Western-style challenges, with competition taking place throughout the morning and early afternoon.
And finally, on Sept. 21, more than 300 golfers will compete at Hickory Stick Golf Club (4422 Hickory Stick Blvd., Greenwood), while sectional champions from across the state take part in the state softball tournament at Midwest Sports Complex (7509 New Augusta Rd., Indianapolis). 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. Additional information can be found at www.soindiana.org/eks-games.