CASTINE — Maine Maritime Academy’s Department of Athletics hosted a Special Olympics Bocce Tournament on Ritchie Field Thursday afternoon. The Academy partnered with the Penobscot, Piscataquis and Hancock Counties Chapter of the Maine Special Olympics to bring the event to Castine for the second time in as many years.
Maine Maritime Academy competes in NCAA Division III, which launched a Special Olympics initiative during the 2010-2011 academic year. The partnership provides the opportunity for student-athletes to engage with Special Olympics, fostering a mutual learning experience between Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes.
This year’s tournament saw 12 teams and 48 competitors from the chapter’s footprint competing. Over two dozen Maine Maritime athletes and eight members of the department staff volunteered to make the program a reality on a picture perfect afternoon.
“Maine Maritime has been a great host,” said Special Olympics Program Director, Mark Capano. “The events here have been a wonderful success.”
Each of Maine Maritime’s 11 programs had at least one representative, and a number of student-athletes also stopped in to cheer on the competitors in between classes.
“Our students and staff have really embraced the Special Olympics program,” said Director of Athletics, Eric Sabean. “We are all looking forward to expanding our partnership in the future.”