On Saturday, November 17, the South East Association for Special Parks And Recreation (SEASPAR) hosted its 40th annual Swim Meet for athletes with disabilities at the Downers Grove North High School.
The event began in 1978 with the sponsorship of the Downers Grove Kiwanis Club, and it is SEASPAR’s longest-running athletic event.
This year’s event hosted Special Olympics Swimming teams from SEASPAR, the Fox Valley, Lily Cache, Northern Illinois, Northwest, South Suburban, West Suburban, and Western DuPage Special Recreation Associations, as well as the Libertyville Stars Swim Club. A total of 148 athletes competed in 21 individual and relay events.
Nineteen SEASPAR swimmers each competed in up to three events, totaling 56 individual entries and four relays. The relay team of Mark Ploskonka of Darien, William Porch of Westmont, Sam Smetko of La Grange Park, and Chris Tegeler of Darien earned gold in the Mixed 400 Yard Freestyle.
The Libertyville Stars Swim Club took first place in combined team scores with 32 swimmers. Fox Valley and Western DuPage Special Recreation Associations took second and third, respectively, with 21 swimmers each. Although the Swim Meet is a competitive event, its focus is more on gaining experience early in the Special Olympics Swimming season.
Volunteers from Benet Academy and the community worked to make the event a success.
SEASPAR trains athletes for Special Olympics competitions in Alpine Skiing, Athletics (track and field), Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Flag Football, Floor Hockey, Golf, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Soccer, Softball, Snowshoeing, Swimming, Tennis, and Volleyball. SEASPAR’s athletes compete in Special Olympics events throughout the year.
For more information about SEASPAR’s Special Olympics program or other recreational programs and services for individuals with disabilities, visit SEASPAR.org or call 630-960-7600.
The South East Association for Special Parks And Recreation (SEASPAR) provides dynamic recreation programs and quality services for individuals with disabilities served by the park districts of Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, La Grange, La Grange Park, Lemont, Lisle, Westmont, and Woodridge, and the villages of Brookfield, Indian Head Park, and Western Springs.