Special Olympics Vermont Names Norwich University 2016 Organization of the Year


Dec. 20, 2016

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University has been named Organization of the Year by Special Olympics Vermont. The university was recognized at an annual awards luncheon held on Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Killington Resort.

“Norwich University has been an important partner of Special Olympics Vermont for many years, hosting two annual sports events and providing volunteer support at numerous other events including the well-known Penguin Plunge,” said Lisa DeNatale, President and CEO of Special Olympics Vermont. “The support that faculty, staff and students at Norwich University provide advances our mission by enhancing the lives of Special Olympics athletes all across the state.”

Norwich University has been partnering with Special Olympics Vermont since the university began facilitating a soccer event at nearby U-32 Middle and High School in 1986, until the event moved to Norwich in 1989, where it has continued. Norwich has hosted Special Olympics Vermont’s Annual Basketball Tournament for 15 years, and the Young Athletes Program over the past 10 years. This year, Norwich’s partnership with the athletes grew to include hosting the Unified Schools Soccer Tournament and the inaugural Fall Games. Between those events and the annual Penguin Plunge, approximately 100-200 Norwich students work with Special Olympics Vermont athletes and programs annually.

New this year, Norwich University’s Center for Civic Engagement oversees a student-run organization dedicated to partnering with Special Olympics Vermont called Unify, which meets weekly with local athletes and allies to train and build skills around various sports and general physical fitness and wellness.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the administrators, volunteers, and athletes at the Vermont Special Olympics,” Norwich Professor of Physical Education Thomas Roberge said. “Our partnership with the Vermont Special Olympics has been tremendous for our campus, students, and student-athletes and has benefitted each in many ways.”

Special Olympics Vermont recognizes outstanding athletes, volunteers, and partners at its annual awards banquet. An Organization of the Year has been recognized by Special Olympics Vermont since 2004. Past recipients include Waitsfield Telecom, Dealer.com, and various Rotary clubs and civic groups around the state.

Special Olympics Vermont is part of a global movement that works year round to foster acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities by using the power of sport to showcase their gifts and abilities. In 2016, 1,126 athletes and Unified partners competed with Special Olympics Vermont in 12 Olympic-type sports. Training and competition opportunities are available in all 14 counties and 64 Unified Champion Schools in Vermont.

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).www.norwich.edu 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.    

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