EWING, N.J. (6/16/15) – Assistant athletic trainer Keir Howland led a delegation of Kean University athletic training students to volunteer at the 2015 Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games this past weekend. Athletes competed in aquatics, baseball, bocce, gymnastics, powerlifting, softball, tennis, and track & field. Many of these sports also offered Unified Sports opportunities, where athletes with and without intellectual disabilities come together to compete on the same team.
Howland teamed with Kean athletic training students Karen Lipyanek and John Placca to provide medical attention to athletes throughout the weekend.
The mission of Special Olympics New Jersey is to provide 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 a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Partly because of their work with the Special Olympics programs, Howland and Placca (pictured below) both received the Kean Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Service on June 3.