Sports Academy Foundation was honored to host volleyball teams from Ventura County Special Olympics November 17th. Over fifty Special Olympians and parents played a series of games at Sports Academy. Their joy filled the entire campus.
“The level of professionalism, enthusiasm and passion demonstrated by the Sports Academy Foundation and staff made you exceptional to work with, and the event was first-class,” said Cecilia Laufenberg, Conejo Recs and Parks District Therapeutic Recreation Supervisor. “The biggest impression though, was of the respect, team spirit, acknowledgement, and encouragement reflected in Sports Academy interaction with Special Olympic athletes and family members. Each athlete was fully embraced as a unified teammate, and was respected at their individual skill level.”
Conejo Recs and Parks District reached out to Sports Academy Foundation when they learned the funding for the Special Olympics team was cut. After hearing that the team was unable to pay facility rent for the tournament, Sports Academy Foundation offered to host the exhibition at Sports Academy.
Jason Nyhan, Director of Corporate Development at Sports Academy, said he was so honored to be able to help put on this event with the Conejo Recs and Parks District. A former volleyball player for UC Santa Barbara, Jason was also able to get in and play some games with the Special Olympians.
“It was an absolute honor to play alongside, and get to know, these athletes,” said Nyhan. “Cecilia Laufenberg, Devon Herbert, and their team at CRPD, who helped organize this event with us, did an amazing job and we hope to have many more of these exhibition tournaments in the future.”
Following the games, a reception was held for the athletes and their families. All of the athletes received participation medals and the winning teams received special commendations. Sports Academy Foundation and Sports Academy look forward to hosting future Special Olympic events.