Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics, to be remembered with a
day of sports and inclusion
Raleigh, NC – On Saturday, September 22, 2012, Special Olympics North Carolina will participate in the 3rd annual global EKS Day, a worldwide celebration in memory of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics movement and a leading international advocate for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities. EKS Day is a global call challenging everyone to “Play Unified to Live Unified” because Mrs. Shriver taught us that on the playing field, we forget about our differences and recognize our mutual humanity. Across the globe, people are demonstrating Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s enduring vision by calling upon athletes, families and friends to come together in a day of inclusive sport and play.
In proclaiming EKS Day throughout the world Timothy Shriver, CEO and President of Special Olympics said, “The global Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day allows our movement to come together on playing fields all around the world to celebrate my mother’s vision. Just as she tackled injustice with sport, community and friendship, so too are we using these tools to spread a powerful message about the dignity that belongs to every person, regardless of her or his ability.”
EKS Day will be celebrated in North Carolina with a number of sports-related activities involving both people with and without intellectual disabilities, including:
– Special Olympics Brick Unveiling in High Point – Saturday, 11:15 a.m.- 11:45 a.m. at Champions Plaza in the High Point Athletic Complex & Miracle Field
In celebration of the support provided by the City of High Point’s Parks & Recreation Department, Special Olympics North Carolina President Keith L. Fishburne will officially unveil its section in Champion’s Plaza. Several volunteers and leaders who have helped shape Special Olympics, not only for the High Point community but for North Carolina and beyond, will be recognized for their major impact on the Special Olympics movement.
– 3rd Annual Special Olympics NC Project UNIFY Youth & Educators Summit in Raleigh – Friday, 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at Hyatt Place Raleigh West
More than 80 school-aged students and Special Olympics athletes and 35 educators from across the state will learn about initiatives they can start in their schools to promote inclusion and positive school climate for people with intellectual disabilities. As part of the Summit, all of the youth will participate in a variety of inclusive sport activities at Jaycee Park on Saturday afternoon.
– R-word Awareness Activities – Saturday, 9 a.m. at Bocce Qualifiers in Clayton Community Park, Clayton and at Legion Stadium in Wilmington.
Attendees will compete in Qualifiers and sign banners to pledge to not use the r-word (retard(ed).
Individuals and families who have no prior involvement with Special Olympics are urged to come to and participate. For more information, visit www.specialolympicsnc.com.
About Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day
Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day is an annual celebration of her life and a global call challenging everyone to “Play Unified to Live Unified” because she taught us that on the playing field, we forget about our differences and recognize our mutual humanity. On EKS Day, we invite you to join us in playing unified and teaching the world to live unified. As founder and honorary chairperson of Special Olympics and executive vice president of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a leader in the worldwide struggle to improve and enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities for more than five decades. Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s actions helped open the minds of all people to the gifts and talents of individuals with intellectual disabilities. She believed in their possibilities, which fuel hope in all of us to make a difference. Eunice Kennedy Shriver demonstrated an unrelenting indomitable spirit in action that one person could make a difference and change the world. Her lasting legacy must be our continued commitment to improve and transform the lives of the 200 million people worldwide with intellectual disabilities that still live with diminished opportunities and social disrespect, and are often neglected and hidden away. Visit www.eksday.org and www.eunicekennedyshirver.org to learn more.
About Special Olympics North Carolina
Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for more than 38,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These athletes inspire greatness through their success and provide motivation to the thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide. SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 19 sports on local and state levels. It is the one of the largest Special Olympics programs in the world in terms of participating athletes. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on http://twitter.com/sonc_beafan; http://www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsNC and http://www.youtube.com/BeAFanSONC.