Special athletes

Volunteer Sophie Robbins, a resident of Bridgewater, with Matheny community resident Josh Handler.

Matheny students, patients and group home residents brought home a total of 44 medals from the Somerset County Special Olympics, held Saturday, May 3, at Bridgewater-Raritan High School in Bridgewater, NJ.

Participation in Special Olympics is an important part of Matheny’s recreation therapy program, which provides a range of recreation choices to improve physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being. Students, patients and community residents are encouraged to take part in several adaptive sports teams throughout the year, including track and field, adaptive karate and power wheelchair soccer.

Volunteer Taylor Black of Franklin Twp. with Matheny community resident Alex Martinez.

Let the games begin!

Matheny adult patient Camille Van Valen competing in one of the track events.

The Somerset County Special Olympics is a very special competition for Matheny students and adult patients. Family members and volunteers from the community gather at the Bridgewater-Raritan athletic field to cheer on the athletes in both track and field events.

The mission of the Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with disabilities. In addition to being a fun day for everyone, the activities help the Matheny recreation therapy program fulfill its mission, which is to improve the students’ and patients’ physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being.

About 45 Matheny athletes competed in the Somerset County Special Olympics, and seven of them will move on to the state Special Olympics competition, being held in June at The College of New Jersey.