SALEM, Mass. -- On Sunday, April 7, the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) celebrated the start of DIII Week by offering a free sports clinic for Special Olympic athletes.
Members of the MASCAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), representatives from varsity sports teams, and members of the coaching and administrative staff from all MASCAC schools volunteered for this inaugural event, which was hosted by Salem State University.
Close to 30 Special Olympic athletes and their families attended the clinic, and participated with the MASCAC volunteers in soccer, basketball, and floor hockey. All participants received an event t-shirt, a sports pack with donations from each of the MASCAC schools, and were treated to a post-clinic pizza party sponsored by Salem Dominos.
"This was the best way I can think of to celebrate NCAA Division III week," said Nicolle Wood, Salem State SAAC advisor and coordinator of student-athlete affairs. "The MASCAC student-athletes provided a fun and exciting day for these Special Olympians, and the value of the experience they got back in return is immeasurable.
“Special thanks to our co-sponsors, Champions Choice and Domino’s Pizza of Salem, for the event t-shirts and pizza party,” Wood added.
“Today's clinic was an enormous success,” commented Sue Crosby-Tangen, MASCAC SAAC co-advisor. “The huge smiles on the faces of the Special Olympians were equally matched by the smiles on the faces of the MASCAC student-athletes.
“Salem State did a wonderful job of organizing an outstanding event and our MASCAC SAAC reps were great mentors to the Special Olympians,” Crosby added.