January 28, 2014

Wentworth Hosts Special Olympics Basketball Event

BOSTON, Mass. – On Sunday, January 26, nearly 120 Special Olympians took part in a clinic and basketball tournament in Tansey Gymnasium on the campus of Wentworth Institute of Technology as part of the Wentworth Athletic Department’s partnership with the Massachusetts Special Olympics.

During the clinic, the athletes took part in different drill stations, which not only worked on basketball-related skills, but also emphasized the importance of teamwork. After the clinic ended, 10 teams spread over three divisions took part in a tournament.

Wentworth student-athletes – representing all 16 of the Leopards’ varsity sports – were on hand to serve as clinicians, officials, scorers, and timers, as well as serving as spectators – who provided encouragement for the participants – during the game.

This marks the third event that Wentworth has hosted for Special Olympians in the last 15 months. In October of 2012 and 2013, the department held soccer clinics prior to home games on Sweeney Field and athletes from the Special Olympics were also a part of the pre-game introductions, getting to come on the field when the Leopard starting lineups were introduced.

Wentworth’s partnership with the Special Olympics is a part of an NCAA Division III initiative. The Division III Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) initiated a partnership with the Special Olympics at the 2011 NCAA Convention and the official launch of the partnership was August 1, 2011.

The purpose of the partnership is to improve the lives of Special Olympics athletes through their involvement with Division III student-athletes and to foster a mutual learning experience between Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes; to provide a platform for recognition of Special Olympics athletes; and to raise awareness about Special Olympics and the programs and services provided.

The partnership will serve as another opportunity to demonstrate the citizenship and comprehensive learning attributes of Division III student-athletes. Student-athletes giving back to their local (and often national and international) communities not only adds to the comprehensive learning component of Division III, but also provides a venue for passion and service.