Athletes, volunteers come together for Special Olympics in Hillsborough

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – More than 1,000 athletes and volunteers from Special Olympics Florida-Hillsborough County came together Saturday for its annual County Summer Games.

The competitions included bocce, track & field, soccer, tennis, volleyball and the motor activity training program (MATP), took place at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa.

More than 600 athletes and “Unified Partners” along with 400 coaches and volunteers participated. “Unified Partners” are a part of Special Olympics Unified Sports®, which combines traditional Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (called Partners) on sports teams for training and competition.

Organizers say this program dramatically increases inclusion in the community, using sports to help break down barriers that have historically kept people apart. The event is sponsored by WellCare Health Plans and employees from the company who also volunteered.

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults 8 years of age and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Special Olympics Florida-Hillsborough County currently serves more than 1,500 athletes in 17 different sports.

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