The Special Olympics USA Training Camp gets underway Monday at the University of Delaware in Newark.
Nearly 300 Special Olympics athletes, coaches and operational support members have been nominated for spots on the Special Olympics USA national team.
Special Olympics Delaware spokesman Jon Buzby says the training camp will prep the athletes competing in the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in March 2019.
“They bring together the United States team so that they have the opportunity to be with their coaches, to be with their fellow athletes, their teammates. And for the first time ever, it is being held here in the State of Delaware. So we are very excited about that. We have four athletes from Delaware who are a part of that team,” Buzby said.
Buzby says two of those four athletes are from Newark - Andrew Crout in tennis and Scott McGrady in cycling. They’re joined by Middletown’s Eddie Joyner in bowling and Dover’s Patricia Pecora in swimming. Delaware will also be represented on the Special Olympics USA team by tennis coach Mary Moore from Wilmington.
Buzby says it’s an exciting time for the athletes.
“Well ya know when you think about it - I’m not sure when the last time you were in Dubai, but I know I have never been to Dubai. In fact, I have never been out of North America. And so, when you have an opportunity like this, when you’re a Special Olympics athlete, it truly is a once in a lifetime experience,” said Buzby.
All the athletes will practice at a variety of UD venues throughout the week and some other off-campus sites.