A few branches of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine will host training camps this weekend for the athletes representing Team Pennsylvania in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games this summer in Seattle.
The Oscar Lasko YMCA and Childcare Center in downtown West Chester will serve as the team’s main hub. It’s where athletes will train in basketball and gymnastics and will have their uniforms fitted and photos taken.
The Lionville branch will host swimming, the Brandywine branch in Coatesville will host soccer, the West Chester branch on Airport Road will host powerlifting, and the Upper Main Line YMCA will host tennis.
In addition to the designated YMCA locations, the West Chester Country Club will host golf, Palace Bowling & Entertainment Center will provide a venue for bowling, and track and field, tennis, and bocce will take place at Henderson High School.
The highlight of the weekend will be the team dinner taking place on Saturday at 6 PM at the Calvary Lutheran Church, located at 730 South New Street in West Chester. Speakers and special invited guests include West Chester Mayor Dianne Herrin, former Olympian Steve Holman, YMCA CEO Denise Day, WCASD Superintendent Jim Scanlon, and Henderson Principal Jason Sherlock.
The YMCA of Greater Brandywine is one of three local YMCA organizations with which Special Olympics Pennsylvania has established a partnership to help alleviate its struggle to find suitable locations to train athletes and host local competitions. Athletes in Special Olympics programs have access to the YMCA facilities where they can train for competitive meets, improve fitness levels, and build conditioning skills needed to meet the physical challenges of sports training.
Team Pennsylvania will be a part of more than 4,000 Special Olympics athletes, coaches, and state delegates from across the U.S. who will gather in Seattle for six days of competition in 14 individual and team sports.