The NCAA's Division III institutions partner with Special Olympics at its championships in a program that is designed to improve the lives of Special Olympics athletes. Through their involvement with Division III student-athletes, they foster a mutual learning experience between Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes.
This partnership encourages Division III student-athletes across the country to participate in existing Special Olympics events, create their own events, or otherwise serve to support Special Olympics organization. The activities pursued by student-athletes vary in each state and region, tailored to best utilize the student-athletes' time and local resources.
At this year's rowing championships, there were 16 athletes who participated on behalf of SONJ, as well as two athletes from each of the eight Division III schools.
"The clinic was very successful," said Matt Willey, Director of Training and Sports Development for the SONJ. "We ended with a competition combining SONJ and NCAA athletes."
Willey expresses the definite interest to add the sport of rowing and competition to the SONJ program. Feedback from the athletes and parents were positive. The clinic was viewed as an overall success for both the NCAA and SONJ.
The 2012 NCAA Rowing Championships consisted of 32 participating teams from NCAA Divisions I, II and III and it was hosted at Lake Mercer Mercer County Park in New Jersey from May 25-27.
To view more photos from the event, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonewjersey/sets/72157629879319616/