Sports Management, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Health and Fitness Promotions Programs Host Special Olympics Fall Classic


Recently, forty-six Special Olympians visited SUNY Canton for the Special Olympics North Country Fall Classic. The SUNY Canton Sports Management, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Health and Fitness Promotions programs hosted the September 24 event.

The fall classic consisted of an individual softball skills competition and a team bocce ball tournament held on the SUNY Canton softball and turf fields. Cadin Taggart and Brennan Harmer, seniors in the Sports Management program, worked closely with program director Diane Para and Danielle Armstrong, program director for Special Olympics of New York, to coordinate, organize and run the games as part of a capstone project.

Athletes receive medals at the podium during the Special Olympics Fall Classic.

“It is always a special and rewarding day to work with the Special Olympics in providing the athletes with a great experience,” Para said. “Brennan and Cadin did an outstanding job planning for the event, and their organization, event management and leadership skills were absolutely tremendous throughout the day.”

Four different regions brought Special Olympians to the games. Two opening ceremonies for both competitions allowed the athletes to march with volunteers from each academic program and awards ceremonies following each competition.

Special Olympics athletes and organizers in a group photo outside Roos House.

“Words could not express how well we thought the event went,” Armstrong said. “It was so well done, and we appreciate everyone’s efforts so very much.”

In conjunction with the games, the Special Olympics Healthy Athlete Fitness Screening program was conducted simultaneously by the Physical Therapist Assistant, Health and Fitness Promotions faculty, students, and local volunteer clinicians.

Physical Therapist Assistant students assist athletes with stretching.

“What makes the day even more rewarding is watching our Sports Management, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Health and Fitness Promotion students volunteer and become completely engaged with the athletes,” Para said. “They were all exceptional, and their collective effort made the day so wonderful for all involved.”

About SUNY Canton

As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, management, and healthcare fields. It is home to the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.