Blakeman announces 2022 Nassau County Games from Albertson’s The Viscardi Center

Blakeman announces 2022 Nassau County Games from Albertson’s The Viscardi Center
Nassau County Executive (left) stands alongside The Viscardi Center CEO Chris Rosa (right). (Photo courtesy of the office of the County Executive)

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman on Monday announced the 2022 Nassau County Games for the Physically Challenged at Albertson’s The Viscardi Center.

On June 2 — 4 at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale and Nassau Community College, the games will feature participants aged 5 to 21 with disabilities competing in track and field, archery, swimming, wheelchair basketball, table tennis and slalom. This will be the first year of the games since they were canceled for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The student athletes who participate in the Nassau County Games for the Physically Challenged are truly inspirational to watch,” Blakeman said in a statement. “I encourage all residents to come down to Mitchel Field June 2-4, to see the student athletes in action and join in on the fun! I would also like to extend thanks and gratitude to the generous sponsors that have allowed us to keep the Games alive here in Nassau County.”

In 1985, New York become the first state to offer a free adapted sports program for kids, one year after Long Island hosted the International Games for the Disabled, which is now known as the Paralympic Games.

2022 will be the 36th year of competition for the games.

The opening ceremony is set to be held at the complex on June 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m. A celebration dinner dance will also be held on the final day of games at the Nassau Community College Field House.

Participation is free and the staff is comprised of volunteers. Susan Maxwell, director of the Games for the Physically Challenged spoke on her enthusiasm for the return of the games.

“We are so excited to be back after a two-year pause and thank County Executive Blakeman for his support of this unique program,” Maxwell said. “The athletes are ready to return to the thrill of the competition, the excitement of winning a medal and the comradery of the Games!”

The Viscardi Center’s K-12 school serves medically fragile and severely disabled children with a graduation and college acceptance rate of 86 percent. The center, located in Albertson, provides after-school athletic programs, transportation, and modern technologies and curriculums designed to give students an accessible but rigorous academic experience.

The other side of the center offers programs to disabled adolescents and adults and school districts looking for transitioning planning services, prevocational work, testing and job placement. The center places roughly 120 people a year in competitive, integrated employment and provides support and advocacy beyond a participant’s tenure at the center.

The educational and employment services the Viscardi Center offers serve 2,000 people a year from all five boroughs of the city, and Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties.

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