June 01, 2007
For Release: Immediate
State Parks Welcomes Public to Attend Ceremonies
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash announced the commencement of the 23rd annual Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. The games are taking place at Mitchel Field in Uniondale, Long Island from May 31st through June 2nd.
"The Empire State Games offer physically challenged children exciting opportunities to participate and succeed in sports and recreational activities which are adapted to best suit their unique abilities," said Ash. "Special thanks to our sponsors, staff and loyal volunteers for their tremendous effort and dedication, making it possible for State Parks to welcome the more than 1,200 athletes participating in this year's Games."
Robert J. McLaughlin, Director of the New York State Lottery said, "The individual talents and circumstances of the athletes who participate in these games touch us all in a very practical way. The New York Lottery is proud to support the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged as an extension of our commitment to education statewide. The Lottery appreciates the generosity of its business partners across Long Island who contributed this year. As in the past, the Lottery will match all of our retailer contributions up to a total sum of $25,000 in support of the Games."
Part of the Empire State Games program, the Games for the Physically Challenged have established a proud tradition of providing opportunities for young athletes to participate and excel in a variety of sports and competitions. The competitors, ages 5 to 21 years old, are amputees, visually impaired or blind, hearing impaired or deaf, and those with cerebral palsy or Les Autres, which includes muscular dystrophy, arthritis and dwarfism.
The program is designed to emphasize the ability of the athlete and develop confidence and self esteem. Success encourages an interest in sports and physical activity and lays the foundation for the athlete to continue on to adult competition. The Games are open free of charge to all physically challenged youths who are New York State residents.
The Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged are administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and co-sponsored by the New York State Lottery, Long Island Power Authority, Metropolitan Transit Authority, King Kullen Supermarkets, Alcoa Foundation and the Rausch Foundation.
Additional information on all Empire State Games program is available at www.empirestategames.org or call 518-474-8889.