Fall is in the air, and so is football!

September 28, 2018 Blog, Events

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More than 300 athletes and Unified partners head to Neenah High School this weekend for the for some gridiron action in the 2018 State Flag Football Tournament.

31 teams representing 21 agencies will compete in 5 vs. 5 games in this one-day tournament on Saturday, September 29.

David Burkard of the Manitowoc County Miracles is looking forward to seeing how well he’s transitioned from training for track to training for football. Burkard is coming off a period of intensive track training as he prepared to compete for Team Wisconsin in athletics in Seattle at the USA Games. But his training paid off, as he brought home two golds and a silver.

Pivoting from track to football after his memorable summer, he’s continued to work out with his trainer with some adjustments to his workouts to help him train for flag football season.

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Burkard showing off the speed that helped Team Wisconsin take home a gold in the 4×400 relay at the USA Games.

But more than anything, he’s excited to reconnect and meet new friends on a great day for football. “I look forward to seeing the athletes that were part of the USA Games, meeting new athletes and the competition,” Burkard said. “Perfect flag football weather.”

The State Flag Football Tournament is one of eight state-level competitions held annually by Special Olympics Wisconsin. The event gives athletes and Unified partners the opportunity to compete with and against fellow athletes from around the state in a sport they love.

“I’m looking forward to competing and having a great time without being judged,” athlete Joseph Kendrick of Valley Packaging Industries said. “And to meet up with people on other teams I haven’t seen since Carroll (at OST) in August!”

Kendrick (86) at the 2017 State Flag Football Tournament

Kendrick (86) at the 2017 State Flag Football Tournament

In addition to the competition, the Flag Football Tournament will have a Healthy Habits station where athletes can learn about staying warm and safe during the cold months.

This annual athletic event is made possible thanks to the support of individuals, organizations and communities across Wisconsin who contribute financially or by giving their time to volunteer. Volunteers are still welcomed for Saturday’s event. You can volunteer in person Saturday morning at the field.


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