USA South Welcomes Special Olympians to Soccer Finals

(MARTINSVILLE, VA) - The NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Special Olympics announced their partnership at the 2012 NCAA Convention. Several Special Olympians from the Stonewall Therapeutic Center in Danville, Virginia, along with their volunteers, were on-hand to kick-off the championship day of the 2012 USA South Soccer Tournament at the Smith River Sports Complex in Martinsville, Virginia. The honored guests first joined the starting lineups of men's tournament finalists, Greensboro College and Methodist University, then two athletes each kicked a ball into the net to officially start the finals.

The partnership between Division III and Special Olympics is designed to improve the lives of Special Olympics athletes through their involvement with Division III student-athletes and to foster a mutual learning experience between Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes. The partnership aligns with the Division III attribute of citizenship in the division’s strategic-positioning platform. The federated structure of Special Olympics organizations around the country provides opportunities for Division III student-athletes in every state to participate in a variety of existing programs or create their own service opportunities.

This is the second consecutive year that the USA South has welcomed Special Olympians to its soccer championships. The Conference will continue its relationship with Special Olympics by welcoming local athletes to championship events throughout the year. Currently, several USA South institutions have long standing relationships their local Special Olympic organizations.