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River Valley YMCA partners with Special Olympics PA

The River Valley Regional YMCA and Special Olympics Pennsylvania are partnering together to increase fitness and training opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities effective today, March 1.

The partnership will connect athletes with six YMCA facilities in Williamsport, Muncy, Jersey Shore, Lock Haven, Mansfield and Towanda. Both organizations share a similar mission that works to improve the quality of life and well-being for the community.

The partnership will help alleviate the Special Olympics’ struggle to find suitable locations to train athletes and host local competitions. Athletes in the Special Olympics Programs will have access to the Y facilities where they can train for competitive meets, improve fitness levels and build conditioning skills needed to meet the physical challenges of sports training. Athletes can also train for Olympic-type sports year round as opposed to their current eight-week sessions.

Developing healthy habits is another big challenge facing these athletes and their families. Many have limited healthcare so health issues often go untreated.

In order to help combat these issues, the River Valley Regional YMCA will be offering a discount for athletes and their families. With the support from the Y, athletes will have regular access to health and wellness programs, group exercise and nutritionists as well as open gym and swim time.

“This wonderful new partnership with the River Valley Regional YMCA will not only help our athletes continuously improve their conditioning and skills, but help us educate athletes and families about the importance of nutrition and leading a healthy lifestyle,” said Matthew Aaron, Special Olympics of Pennsylvania president and CEO.

“The more opportunities we take to work alongside other organizations, the stronger impact we can have on all communities we serve,” added Chad Eberhart, River Valley Regional YMCA CEO.

This collaboration will not only benefit the athletes, but the entire community which the Y serves. In addition to the training and fitness components, community activities and events will help drive the importance of developing youth across generations and diverse populations.

The Y connects people from all backgrounds who want to live healthy and feel connected to something bigger than themselves.

The relationship between the Special Olympics and the Y opens up volunteer opportunities for both organizations and demonstrates the impact that partnerships like this can have on strengthening the community.

The River Valley Regional YMCA joins more than 30 other YMCA facilities in Pennsylvania who have partnered with Special Olympics of Pennsylvania to increase opportunities for athletes to develop lifelong fitness goals and reach their full potential.

For more information about the partnership and to find local opportunities to get involved, visit www.specialolympicspa.org.

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