Salve students host East Bay Area Special Olympics

NEWPORT, R.I. – Salve Regina student volunteers will host the Rhode Island East Bay Area Special Olympics on Aquidneck Island for the 36th consecutive year. This year’s Games kick off on Sunday, April 23 at 10 a.m. with opening ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. at Gaudet Middle School in Middletown.

As many as 250 athletes representing teams from high schools and communities across Rhode Island will join with more than 200 Salve Regina student volunteers in the event. Athletes will compete in several sports ranging from track to softball.

Among the student volunteers are Salve Regina student athletes, members of SRU Dance, who will make a special appearance, and several other student clubs who are donating their time and efforts to the Olympic Town activities.

“This experience has been one of the most memorable opportunities I have had at Salve,” said Salve Regina senior Natalia Nardi, president/director of the university’s Special Olympics committee. “It is such a tremendous feeling seeing these athletes and their families filled with so much joy, passion and determination. I am so grateful for this opportunity as president and director to assist in creating and planning this day and work with such amazing individuals. I couldn't be more excited to see what this year’s Games have in store."

Following is Sunday’s program schedule:

10:30 a.m. - opening ceremony

11 a.m. - 1500M co-ed

11:05 a.m. - 25 M walk

11:30 a.m. - 50 M Dash 12-15 co-ed AND Running Long Jump

11:45 a.m. - 50 M dash 16-29 co-ed, SLJ open, 400 m co-ed

12:05 p.m. - 10 M wheelchair, shot put 22-29 co-ed

12:10 p.m. - 25 M wheelchair; 50 M dash 30+, turbojav open

12:15 p.m. - tennis ball throw, shot put 22-29 co-ed

12:20 p.m. - 30 M wheelchair slalom, softball throw 16-21

12:30 p.m. - 100 M dash 8-11 co-ed, shot put 16-21 co-Ed

12:40 p.m. - 100 M dash 12-15 co-ed, softball throw 22-29

12:50 p.m. - Softball Throw 30+

1 p.m. - 100 M dash 16-21 co-ed

1:25 p.m. - 200 M walk, softball throw 8-11

1:35 p.m. - 100 M dash 22-29 co-ed, softball throw 12-15

1:50 p.m. - 100 M dash 30+

2 p.m. - 800M combined

2:10 p.m. -  200 M jr. co-ed

2:15 p.m. - 200 M sr. co-ed

2:45 p.m. - 4x200 relay jr. 4x200 relay senior

2:50 p.m. - 4x400 relay jr. 4x400 relay sr.

3:15 p.m. - competition ends and raffles begin.

Athlete Profile:

Danny Glenning

Danny was the first athlete on the Newport County YMCA Special Olympics Team when it was formed nine years ago by Mike Miller, who currently serves as the YMCA’s CEO. Today, there are 112 athletes on the team. Danny began as a swimmer but is now involved in most of the sports teams available, including basketball, volleyball, softball, bowling and bocce. While Danny doesn’t participate in track and field, he will be at the Games on Sunday holding the sign for the YMCA team during the opening ceremony.

Danny currently works at the café located in the YMCA, which they nicknamed “Danny’s Café.” His parents, who are his biggest advocates, will accompany Danny on the day of the Games.