The University of Hartford will host the Special Olympic Connecticut Eastern Regional Games for the eighth consecutive year on Saturday, May 7. More than 750 athletes, coaches, and families and friends are expected to take part in this event, which is free and open to the public.
Opening Ceremonies will start at 9:30 a.m. at the University’s Sports Center. Aquatics competitions will be held at the University and track and field events competition will be held at Hartford Public High School. In addition, both venues will have an Olympic Town area where athletes can enjoy music, dancing, and arts and crafts. There will also be concessions booths at both venues.
This year’s Eastern Regional Games will be the largest of Special Olympics Connecticut’s Regional Competitions and the athletes will be looking to advance to the Special Olympic Connecticut Summer Games June 11-13 in New Haven.
For more information on these Eastern Regional Games, go to www.hartford.edu/soct.
The master of ceremonies for the Opening Ceremonies will be Lee Peters, the University’s vice president for student affairs. Also taking part in the ceremony will be John Carson, vice president for University relations; Pat Meiser, University director of athletics; and state Rep. Christie Carpino, who represents Cromwell, Middletown and Portland. In addition, Special Olympics Connecticut President Robert “Beau” Doherty is scheduled to attend.
University alum Latanya Farrell will sing the National Anthem. The Opening Ceremonies will also feature performances by the UHA Steppaz and the University’s cheerleaders. Entertaining the crowd will be mascots Pucky and Sonar of the Connecticut Whale, Rocky of the New Britain Rock Cats, and Howie the Hawk from the University of Hartford.
The Opening Ceremonies will also feature a parade of athletes and coaches and a symbolic torch run by athletes and members of local law enforcement, including the University’s Department of Public Safety.
Since 1969, Special Olympics Connecticut (SOCT) has provided year-round sports training and athletic competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities through local, regional and state programs. SOCT serves 6,700 athletes throughout the state. Over 10,000 general volunteers and 900 volunteer coaches are involved with SOCT programs statewide..