BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will host McKean County Special Olympics for Special Olympics Day during the basketball doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 10, against Penn State-Behrend.
"Our athletes and coaches are looking forward to Special Olympics Day at Pitt-Bradford," Coordinator for McKean County Special Olympics Patrick Ryan said. "We have a great partnership with the University. The involvement of students, faculty, staff and coaches in our programs adds so much to what we can offer to our special athletes. We are excited about recognizing our partnership at the games on Feb. 10."
For Special Olympics Day, all McKean County special athletes and their families are invited to spend the day cheering on the Panthers at the Pitt-Bradford basketball games.
This year, all participants will be given a hot dog, popcorn and a drink, all compliments of the Pitt-Bradford softball team concession stand.
McKean County Special Olympics is sanctioned through Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) with over 360 special athletes and over 100 volunteers participating in the programs of aquatics, track & field, softball, skiing, bowling, basketball and softball.
NCAA Division III and Special Olympics formed a partnership on August 1, 2011, focusing on enhancing the lives of Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes, providing a platform for recognition of Special Olympics athletes and Division III student-athletes within their communities and building awareness of Special Olympics, its programs and services.
"I cannot begin to say how proud the Athletics Department is to be hosting this wonderful event," Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Bret Butler said. "I wish that we could take the credit for this idea, but all of the credit goes to Donny Johnson, my good friend and colleague. D.J. came into my office mid-fall and encouraged us to consider hosting this event. I absolutely concurred and asked him to select a game, and he immediately chose the Behrend game.
"Hopefully this is the first event of a new, beautiful tradition here at Pitt-Bradford basketball. We already have some great ideas for the Special Olympians for next year's basketball game. We are really looking forward to this event."
Saturday's action will begin with the men's game at 1 p.m. and continue into the women's game starting at 3 p.m.
Prior to the start of each game, the Panthers' seniors will be honored for Senior Day, as they will compete in their final Saturday home game.
For more information on McKean County Special Olympics, click here.