Little City is named the Kevin T. Kendrigan Outstanding Team for Illinois Special Olympics Area 18
The 2017 Little City Special Olympics team has already made history and they may just be getting started.
For the first time ever, Little City was named the Kevin T. Kendrigan Outstanding Team for Illinois Special Olympics Area 18, beating out 40 other teams in the process. Area 18, which is the second largest in Illinois, has roughly 1,500 athletes that compete in 18 sports year round.
“My heart kind of dropped into my stomach when I heard them call Little City,” said Maggie Brennan, recreational therapist at Little City. “It was a huge surprise, but it also wasn’t a surprise because we have excellent coaches, volunteers and of course athletes. Everyone was just really excited.”
The award is named after the founding director of Northwest Special Recreation Association and is given to a team that displays excellence in competition, in the community and in coaching.
Jordan Feldman, Director of Special Olympics Area 18, said Little City has been on the top of the list for a few years and was more than deserving of the honor.
“I couldn’t think of a more fitting title to be bestowed on Little City,” Jordan said. “Their coaches care a great deal about athletes and they promote success. It’s not just another job to them. They legitimately care about what their athlete does. And I’ve seen them in good times and bad times. They always encourage them and teach sportsmanship. They are absolutely awesome coaches.”
The honor came shortly after the Spring Games, where Little City had a wildly successful meet, winning 20 golds, 16 silvers and 18 bronze across track and field events. The hardware stacked up all year for Little City as powerlifting earned 23 golds, 17 silvers and three bronze medals. Swimming earned seven golds, five silvers and three bronzes while bocce took nine golds, seven silvers and seven bronzes.
The result of all the success has Little City sending 37 competitors to the Illinois Special Olympics state competition June 9 in Bloomington.
To celebrate Little City’s first-ever Kevin T. Kendrigan Outstanding Team, Little City will be profiling athletes from the team as it prepares for the state competition on June 9. Little City supporters and donors will get a behind-the-scenes look at the hard work and sacrifices these athletes made to win Area 18’s most outstanding team and what they are doing to keep that success going in the summer.
Be sure to check back every Wednesday and Friday starting on May 19 to get to know the athletes who make up this historic team. The series will culminate on June 9 as Little City sends the team off to Bloomington to chase more gold medals.