RCGC Unified Sports and Special Olympics New Jersey students, volunteers and staff
Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) Unified Sports and Special Olympics New Jersey teamed up to offer 30 special Olympic athletes from the College’s Adult Center for Transition (ACT) and Rowan University’s unified sports program some fun in the sun. The sports camp — which unfortunately got sidelined after two days due to severe weather — provided individuals with intellectual disabilities, ages 16 and older, the chance to enhance their proficiency and skills in a variety of athletic areas. RCGC Athletic department head coaches, volunteers and student counselors provided clinics and training programs in soccer and tennis during the two days of camp on June 22 and 23.
“This is the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life,” said RCGC Unified Coordinator Jim Clarke. “Teammates on the field and friends for life, that’s our slogan.”
Hanay Sheth, a second-year RCGC engineering major and president of the College’s Unified Sports program, has volunteered every Friday for one- and one-half years. “It’s amazing. You see a lot of improvement in the players. The students are always happy and that makes me happy.”
For more than 50 years, Special Olympics New Jersey has held the Camp Shriver event at their sports complex in Lawrenceville. This was the first time that the camp was held offsite, a testament to the success of the College’s Special Olympics Unified Sports program.
The summer camp program is free to the athletes and includes sports specific instruction and education information on nutrition, health, wellness and fitness.
“It is really exciting to be here working alongside RCGC staff and volunteers. The College has such a great program with the Unified Sports so we wanted to branch out,” said Special Olympics Director of Strategic Initiatives Sheryl Perez. “This seemed like the natural place to be.”
Rowan College at Gloucester County’s 250-acre campus is located on Tanyard Road in Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.