Special Olympics New Jersey Young Athletes™ in Clark

Students participating in Special Olympics Young Athletes

CLARK, NJ - On a recent Saturday a group known as Young Athletes completed their spring session at Brewer Recreation Center. Young Athletes is an inclusive sports play program for children ages 2 – 7. It offers children with and without disabilities the opportunity to come together in a guided play experience. Coaches led the group throughout the spring in various activities to strengthen motor skills, as well as enhance social, emotional, and learning opportunities. The coaching staff, including Stefanie DeVizio, Charlie Mezaros, Katie Shellhammer, and Ashley Tenpenny. 

“These coaches gave the children continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy,” said Lori Kowalski,Supervisor of Clark Preschool/School Nurses.  A number of Arthur L. Johnson High School students including Lena Acosta, Kayla Bowen, Brooke Gallo, Emma Hilton, Sara Hilton, Gabby Smith, Jenna Thornton, and Juliana Venezio, along with Emylee Lincoln and Holly Zarzecki from Union County volunteered and helped the coaches.  They assisted with the set-up and equipment clean-up for the event and worked one-on-one with the children assisting and helping them navigate the various activity stations.

“It is the coaches and volunteers who make a difference in the lives of these children modeling good sportsmanship and character to enhance their overall sports experience while finding their own lives fulfilled in ways they did not imagine," said Kowalski.

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