"For if you seek joy, come see the athletes of Special Olympics! If you seek peace and understanding, come see the athletes of Special Olympics! If you seek courage or strength or skill, come see the athletes of Special Olympics!"
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver
This weekend was our 5th year participating in the Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games held at The College of New Jersey each year. This year was bittersweet for us as it was Colin's last year participating as a member of the Young Athlete Program. This has been such a big part of our life since before he was walking (he was 2 when he started!) and it's sad to see this chapter of Colin's involvement in the Special Olympics come to an end. We have seen this program really evolve and grow since we first started and we have been so proud of Colin for being such an active participant.
The program wouldn't be what it is if it weren't for some really special people that make it what it is and have given it the nurturing it needed to continue to grow into this really amazing place for children to work on sport specific skills AND a very important piece in socialization. It has been a place for parents to come together and share stories as well as the joys that you can only experience as a part of Special Olympics.
Andrea, this program is what it is because of YOU and we are so thankful for all of your hard work to make it such an awesome and successful program for all of our "young athletes". Coach Greg, Megan and Nikki....you have been such a part of Colin's life at Special Olympics and we are SO THANKFUL for all you have done!
The day was an all around great experience. At check-in, each young athlete was given baseball cards designed just for them with their stats and picture on them that they were encouraged to trade them with other athletes (that was a fun experience in itself!). There were many stations set up and the kids could wander to any activity they wanted. There were many volunteers on the field to assist and help with the athletes (who were awesome) and they also had a home run derby set up on the infield.
Afterwards, the kids got lined up for the "Future Stars" race (Colin's favorite part of the day) and ran their hardest.
We are so proud of Colin for doing his very best and for Kailey (and Cody too) for being such a supportive brother and sister. Kailey loves being Colin's cheerleader (she cheered with posters that were made for Colin by his classmates at school) and we caught a few moments where she went up to Colin, hugged him and told him how proud she was of him for doing a good job.
Later in the day, Colin participated in a baseball "bonanza" and he loved every minute of it!
There really is nothing like the Summer Games and we are so proud and thankful to get to be a part of it....