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Scenic Rivers YMCA Partners with Special Olympics Pennsylvania

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 @ 12:02 AM

Posted by exploreClarion

Special OlympicsNORRISTOWN, Pa. – Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) and the Scenic Rivers YMCA have joined together to increase fitness and training opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Effective February 1, 2020, the partnership will link athletes to two YMCA facilities in the Clarion, Venango and Forest Counties area. Both organizations share a similar mission that works to improve the quality of life and well-being for the community.

The partnership will help alleviate the Special Olympics struggle to find suitable locations to train athletes and host local competitions. Athletes in the Special Olympic Programs will have access to Y facilities where they can train for competitive meets, improve fitness levels and build conditioning skills needed to meet the physical challenges of sports training. Athletes can also train for Olympic-type sports year round as opposed to their current 8-week sessions.

Developing healthy habits is another big challenge facing these athletes and their families. Many have limited healthcare so health issues often go untreated. In order to help combat these issues, the Scenic Rivers YMCA will be offering a 25 percent discount for athletes and their families. With the support from the Y, athletes will have regular access to health and wellness programs and group exercise as well as open gym and swim time.

“Special Olympics Pennsylvania strives to ensure that all of our athletes have the resources they need and opportunities to achieve their best,” said Matthew Aaron, SOPA President & CEO. “This wonderful new partnership with the Scenic Rivers YMCA will not only help our athletes continuously improve their conditioning and skills, but help us educate athletes and families about the importance of nutrition and leading a healthy lifestyle.”

This collaboration will not only benefit the athletes, but the entire community which the Y serves. In addition to the training and fitness components, community activities and events will help drive the importance of developing youth across generations and diverse populations. The Y connects people from all backgrounds who want to live healthy and feel connected to something bigger than themselves. The relationship between Special Olympics and the Y opens up volunteer opportunities for both organizations and demonstrates the impact that partnerships like this can have on strengthening the community.

“Special Olympics is a great organization and I’m excited about this partnership with the YMCA,” said Thomas K. Spence, CEO, Scenic Rivers YMCA. “I’m looking forward to the YMCA assisting with programs and individuals to help them meet their goals and enjoy the preparation for competition.”

The Scenic Rivers YMCA joins 35 other YMCA facilities in Pennsylvania who have partnered with SOPA to increase opportunities for athletes to develop lifelong fitness goals and reach their full potential. For more information about the partnership and to find local opportunities to get involved with SOPA and the local YMCAs, visit please visit www.specialolympicspa.org.


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