Gloucester, MA — Sept 12, 2017 – Cape Ann Special Olympics (“CASO”) and Cape Ann YMCA (the “Y”) announced today the extension of a collaboration to support the second season of the Cape Ann Special Olympics Swim Team. The program will provide weekly training to the CASO swim team in competitive swimming as well a developmental program for athletes developing basic skills needed to participate. Classes began on Sept 9 for the swim team and September 14th for the developmental team. All participants will also receive a Y membership for the year with instruction on the use of the Y’s fitness equipment and other facilities. Financial support for this program is provided by Brace Cove Foundation.
In the first year of this very successful program 22 CASO athletes received extensive training at the Y and 18 of them competed in a qualifying meet held at Boston University earning the opportunity to test their skills against their peers in the state finals held at Harvard University. The 12 athletes that ultimately went to the finals earned 30 medals including 16 gold. CASO athlete Meghan Colby of Gloucester, with two gold medals, earned a spot on Team Massachusetts becoming one of only two women from the state competing in aquatics at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games which take place July 1-6, 2018 in Seattle.
“We are pleased to continue and expand this highly successful program” said Shawn Williamson, Program Director of CASO. “In addition to improved swimming skills our athletes saw improved overall fitness, self esteem and social growth. This is a direct result of the dedication, commitment and support from our volunteers and the YMCA.”
“We are excited that the Y will again be collaborating on this important program” commented Tim Flaherty, Executive Director of the Cape Ann YMCA. “We are committed to including all members of our community in our programming, it is part of our mission and a core value of the Y.”
About Cape Ann Special Olympics
Cape Ann Special Olympics, a chapter of Massachusetts Special Olympics was founded in 2015 to provide athletic opportunities for individuals with intellectual or physical disabilities in the Cape Ann community. Our goal is to provide year-round sports training and competition at no cost to participants in aquatics, track and field, soccer, basketball, bowling and bocce. For more information visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GloucesterSpecialOlympics.
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For over 150 years, the YMCA of the North Shore has been strengthening the foundations of community for the more than 45,000 members it serves in 25 cities and towns. We nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support our neighbors; regardless of age, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic background. http://www.northshoreymca.org
About Brace Cove Foundation
Brace Cove Foundation provides grants to nonprofits serving the residents of Cape Ann with a focus on providing access to the arts, food security and nutrition, education and programs for individuals with special needs. For more information about our grant making, visit http://www.bracecove.org.