Nittany Lion student-athletes set to volunteer at Special Olympics Summer Games

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Special Olympics Pennsylvania will host the 44th Annual Summer Games this Thursday through Saturday, June 6-8 on the Penn State campus for the 26th straight year. Sponsored by Sheetz, Inc., the event brings together more than 2,000 athletes, 750 coaches and 2,500 volunteers from across the commonwealth.

Nearly 50 Penn State student-athletes, representing eight varsity teams, will be among the 2,500 volunteers at the Summer Games, which will include competition in aquatics, athletics, basketball, bowling, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, softball and tennis.

Penn State seniors DaQuan Jones (Johnson City, N.Y.) and Matt Lehman (Newport) will be among the nearly 30 Nittany Lion football players volunteering at the opening ceremonies and events, including the bowling competition. Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) and Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) will lead a strong contingent from the women’s volleyball team and Megan Siverling (Chester Springs) is among several volunteers from the women’s swimming and diving team. Field hockey, men’s gymnastics, women’s soccer and women’s track and field also will be represented among the volunteers.

Members of the Lady Lion basketball program will be among the volunteers at the basketball competition.

Preliminary Games competition begins on Thursday with the Opening Ceremonies following at 7:15 p.m. at Penn State’s Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Kellie Goodman Shaffer, Executive Director of the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce and former WTAJ-TV Sports Director will emcee the ceremony.

Thursday’s ceremonies will end with the Lighting of the Olympic Torch carried by participants of the third annual “Be a Fan” Torch Run. The “Be a Fan” Torch Run is a 3-day, 150 mile run from Pittsburgh to Penn State presented by UPMC. Hundreds of runners representing over forty law enforcement officers/teams from across the state will participate by carrying the torch from home plate at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on June 4 to home plate at Medlar Field in State College to celebrate and kickoff the 44th Summer Games.

Competition continues on Friday, June 7 at nine venues in individual skills, individual events, relay and team events and concludes on Saturday, June 8. Closing Ceremonies will take place Saturday afternoon in the Bigler Field/Penn State Field Hockey Complex area. Steve Jones, the Voice of Penn State Football and Nittany Lion Basketball, will emcee the event at 4:30 p.m.

There is no admission fee for any of the events.

For more information on the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games or to volunteer at the Games, call 814-234-8750 or visit

About Special Olympics Pennsylvania
Special Olympics Pennsylvania provides year-round training and competition in 22 Olympic-type sports to more than 20,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities or closely related developmental disabilities. For more information about how you can “Be a fan” of SOPA, visit

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Last Updated June 07, 2013