Posted by Meg Laska
The Somerset Hills is proud to announce that seven athletes from its Sea Wasps Special Olympics Aquatics Team have qualified for the team that will represent the state of New Jersey in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. The games, which happen every four years, will take place during the week of June 14 – 21 in New Jersey.
“We are so proud of our team,” commented David DeSimone of Bernardsville, Coach of the Somerset Hills YMCA Sea Wasp team. “Their achievements are only matched by the strength of their friendship, their determination, and their dedication to training, which fully embraces the mission of the Special Olympics and the Y.”
The Somerset Hills YMCA’s Special Olympics program brings to life the Y’s mission to provide everyone with the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. The mission-based program is supported by the Y’s Annual Campaign.
Held for the first time in New Jersey, the Special Olympics USA Games will include 16 different sports in which nearly 3,500 athletes, from around the United States, will compete.
The New Jersey team includes 270 athletes as the host team. Among the athletes competing for New Jersey will be seven athletes, ranging in age from 17 to 37, from the Somerset Hills YMCA. Kristen Clark of Basking Ridge, Ryan Hardgrove of Warren, and Jessica Licata of East Brunswick will compete in Aquatics. Daisy DeSimone of Bernardsville, Stephanie Ridilla and William Saillot of Berkeley Heights, and Courtney Dreyfus of Scotch Plains will compete in the Triathlon. This is the first time ever that Special Olympians will have the opportunity to compete in the triathlon at the USA Games.
“Our athletes have worked so hard to qualify for the New Jersey team,” added David DeSimone. “The USA Games bring out the best in them and inspire them to compete at their highest level of performance.”
The mission of the Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
For more information about the Y’s Special Olympics team or about the Somerset Hills YMCA, visitwww.somersethillsymca.org.
Preparing for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games are seven athletes from the Somerset Hills YMCA who qualified for the team that will represent New Jersey. Pictured from left to right, front row, areStephanie Ridilla of Berkeley Heights, Kristen Clark of Basking Ridge, Daisy DeSimone of Bernardsville, and in the back row, Ryan Hardgrove of Warren, Jessica Licata of East Brunswick, William Saillot of Berkeley Heights,
Courtney Dreyfus of Scotch Plains and David DeSimone of Bernardsville, Somerset Hills YMCA Special Olympics Team Coach.