By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
September 30, 2021-Under beautiful sunny skies on Saturday, September 25, the Special Olympics Fall Classic returned to Cantiague Park in Hicksville. It was the first time in two years that the Special Olympics were held there as the 2020 version was canceled because of the pandemic.
The medal ceremony
Teams from the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) TOPSoccer Program did well in the soccer competition. Smithtown won the gold medal and the Huntington Boys Club (HBC) took the silver medal. The Long Island Lions, with a number of players from Plainview/Old Bethpage TOPSoccer, brought home the bronze medal.
Volunteering their time as officials were refs from the Long Island Soccer Referees Association (LISRA) and athletes from SUNY-Old Westbury volunteeered throughout the different sports being played at Cantiague Park.
The gold medalists from Smithtown
The first Special Olympics, created by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, were held at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 20, 1968, just six weeks after her brother Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. Today, the Special Olympics offer 30 individual and team sports for people with intellectual challenges in over 170 countries.
With approximately 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with nine leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/