Lindenwood University-Belleville will host the annual Special Olympics Fall Sports Day Mon., Oct. 8, at 5 p.m. The event will be held in Lynx Arena, and about 80 Special Olympic athletes from the St. Louis and Southern Illinois area will participate.
Lindenwood Belleville has hosted the Special Olympics Spring Sports Day since 2016 to show the university's commitment to the community and celebrate the Champions of Character mission. The NAIA Champions of Character program is designed to instill an understanding of character values in athletics and provide student-athletes, coaches, and parents the training to help know and do the right things, inside and outside the athletics setting.
“We chose to work with Southern Illinois Special Olympics to provide another level to the student-athlete experience that would allow for their involvement in a unique way,” Athletic Director Ryan Kaiser said. “The last several years, our relationship has only grown positively as we have gained an understanding of how we can help support and engage our friends from Special Olympics.”
Hosting the Special Olympic athletes helps Lindenwood Belleville maintain its NAIA Champions of Character standing.
“We wanted to partner with the Special Olympics to provide opportunities for both the Special Olympics athletes as well as our own athletes,” Associate Director of Athletics Annie Reis said. “It allows our athletes to see Champions of Character core values in action.”
As a university, Lindenwood Belleville will continue to strive to promote excellence, character, and leadership as the relationship with the Special Olympics continues to grow.