Norwich University wins award for Special Olympics efforts

by Mark Albury, May 2005

special olympics tournament at Norwich UniversityNorwich University has been selected as the Organization of the Year by Special Olympics Vermont. The University has been a vital part of Special Olympics Vermont for over ten years, hosting and providing volunteer support for the State soccer tournament. When Professor Geoffrey Davison became involved over three years ago, the support rose to an all-time high. Through Geoff's participation with the Special Olympics North America task force for the university curriculum, Norwich University has integrated Special Olympics education into its course offerings.

Students have since organized two state soccer tournaments, and just recently held their third basketball invitational, on April 2. Through coaches' training, students have also provided coaching and skills training to athletes in the Central Vermont area.

If they aren't organizing a tournament, they may be heading to the annual Penguin Plunge event. For the past five years, Eric Braman and over 70 cadets have traveled to Burlington to assist with crowd control and traffic control. The involvement of the cadets has allowed Special Olympics Vermont to bring the Penguin Plunge to a new level. They have helped create a safe, Penguin-friendly environment and their energy and enthusiasm for the event keep the participants coming back year after year!

The mission of Special Olympics Vermont is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.