Edited by: TJVNews.com
This year, the Nassau County Games for the Physically Challenged will take place from June 2nd to the June 4th at Mitchel Athletic Complex and Nassau Community College in Long Island. The opening ceremonies will take place on June 2nd at 6:30 pm.
Nassau County Executive Bruce A. Blakeman announced on Monday, April 25th that he will join athletes, sponsors, and coordinators in broadcasting the schedule of events for the 2022 Nassau County Games for the Physically Challenged.
Competitors travel from throughout New York State to Nassau County to participate in a weekend of fun athletic events alongside friends and family. Over 1000 athletes are expected to participate in the games.
Joining Blakeman in the sponsorship and support of the games are Dr. Chris Rosa, President & CEO of The Viscardi Center, Susan Gordon Ryan, Founder of the Games, Melissa Connolly, Hofstra, Vice President of University Relations, William McDermott, President, The Friendly Sons of St Patrick on Long Island, Suzanne Brienza, PSEG, Long Island, Director of Customer Experience and Utility Marketing, Jack Khzouz, CEO, NICE Bus, Robert Suarez, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, AVP Community Development, Jennifer Kim Field, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility Henry Schein, Rich Papetti, Co-President, Citizens United to Remove Barrier as well as Victory Challenge Sponsors and Victory Challenge athletes.
In 1984 the International Games for the Disabled (now known as the Paralympics) were held on Long Island. So impressive was the spirit and determination of the world class athletes, at that event, that New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation initiated a program to give physically challenged youth here in New York the opportunity for athletic competition that would enrich their lives.
In the summer of 1985, New York State became the first state in the country to offer a free adapted sports program for youngsters. The Games drew 240 participants from all over the state that first summer. That number has grown to nearly 1600 athletes statewide between two regional competitions that are now held each year. In December of 2010, due to the financial difficulties within New York State, all funding was eliminated for the Empire State Games programs. But with the efforts of the Nassau County Executive to keep the Games in Nassau County, a “Save the Games” committee was formed to begin a fundraising campaign. Along with the Save the Games Committee and the very generous support from the community, the organizers of the games are proud to say that they will be celebrating their 36th year of Competition June 2 – June 4, 2022.
The goals of the games are to offer physically challenged youth the exciting opportunity to participate in competitive sports and recreational activities adapted to best suit their unique abilities. The games encourage promotion of sports for physically challenged individuals of all ages and enable youth to learn and develop skills required for a successful experience in sports competition and fitness. The games also familiarize the general public with the abilities of physically challenged individuals.
Sports achievements emphasize the abilities of the athletes and help them develop confidence and self-esteem. Success encourages an interest in sports activity and lays the foundation for the athlete to continue on to adult competition, if they so choose.
Open to athlete’s ages 5 – 21 years of age with a physical challenge, such as amputees, those who are blind and visually impaired, those with cerebral palsy, those who are deaf and hearing impaired, those with spinal cord injuries and Les Autres, a French term meaning “the other”, (Muscular Dystrophy, Dwarfism, Arthrogryposis, Cardiac or Pulmonary Disorders as well as Traumatic Brain Injuries).
Competitive Events include: Track Events (Ambulatory, Wheelchair and Power Wheelchair), Field Events adapted for all Physical Challenges, Swimming, Table Tennis, Archery, Wheelchair Basketball (Teams Only) and Slalom Courses, set up to accommodate Ambulatory, Wheelchair and Blind/Visually Impaired athletes.
Each Athlete competes against other athletes of the same age group, same sex and same classification. Classifications are broken down according to physical challenges listed above and then again by the severity within the specific physical challenge.
Athletes compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals, as well as fourth, fifth and sixth place ribbons.