Orange Bowl Participates in Special Olympic Florida's Unified Flag Football Invitational
The Orange Bowl is a dedicated supporter of Special Olympics Florida. In November, the Orange Bowl Committee participated in Special Olympics Florida’s South Florida Unified Flag Football Invitational.
OBC members and staff volunteered at the event held at Orange Bowl Field at Moore Park, which was renovated and dedicated in 2011 as a legacy gift by the Orange Bowl Committee to the community. The $5.7 million project built to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Orange Bowl is located at the site of the Palm Festival, the predecessor to the Orange Bowl in 1933 – 1934. Orange Bowl staffers took on several duties that day including setting up, running registration and game operations and the serving as team representatives.
“It’s (the Orange Bowl) an organization that’s so recognized in South Florida, recognizing that our athletes are incredible and valued,” said Linsey Harris Smith, Director, Field Services and Foundation Relations at the Special Olympics Florida. “Obviously the support, the financial support has been unbelievable in terms of developing our Unified Flag Football program, having the competition here today really builds awareness in the community and lets the community know we’re out here and all of that is really possible because of the Orange Bowl Committee.”
Special Olympics Unified Sports are dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences; Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team.
Dark clouds and wet weather wasn’t enough to keep the dedicated athletes and volunteers off the field. Cheerleaders, fans and supporters applauded as each team ran through an inflatable football helmet tunnel. A sea of high fives and smiles could be seen from the stands as the more than 150 athletes stood on the field in their team jerseys.
After the pregame ceremonies which included the Orange Bowl’s check presentation to Special Olympics, the players were ready for some football.
OBC Community Outreach Chair Salo Sredni was one of the members who helped out. “Orange Bowl is such a great organization here in South Florida and to partner up with Special Olympics, which does such great work in our community, I’m really honored to be here and see the excitement that I see with all the athletes out here today.”
In Florida, Special Olympics serves more than 25,000 athletes with the help of nearly 1,600 coaches and over 15,000 dedicated volunteers.
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