The Hillsborough Township Committee dedicated a portion of its Sept. 10 meeting to recognize local athletes and coaches who participated in this year’s Special Olympics USA Summer Games.
The township committee honored the winning efforts of the Hillsborough participants in this year’s games, which were competed in New Jersey on June 7–9 at The College of New Jersey in Ewing. Approximately 2,500 athletes competed in seven sports and were supported by more than 3,000 volunteers and 10,000 spectators.
Team New Jersey 2019 was made up of 272 athletes and 73 coaches, representing every county in the state, and ﬁelding the largest delegation in the history of the games to date.
Hillsborough Township Mayor Frank DelCore was present at the meeting to bestow the athletes and coaches with a proclamation.
“It’s heartwarming when you see the number of people that are participating,” DelCore said. “To have this size delegation from New Jersey is extremely special, so thank you all very much for your support, and let’s make sure that next year, we have an even bigger delegation.”
Upon DelCore’s regards to the group, one of the team’s coaches, Pamela Figard, not only expressed some of her fond memories from this year’s games, but the significance of the events as well.
“One thing I like about the Special Olympics is all the parents sitting out in the audience, being very proud of their athletes,” Figard said. “It gives them the same opportunity to be on the sidelines and cheer for their athletes, and to see them wearing their medals as any other parent in Hillsborough has for their child… It’s real fun, and I’m proud of these athletes.”
DelCore explained that the mission of the Special Olympics of New Jersey is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
The Hillsborough mayor said that these athletes are given continued opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.