The 38th Annual Windham Invitational Special Olympics Swim Meet is looking for 350 volunteers to help with its meet, to be held March 11 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Windham High School.

Meet director Charles Wynn, chemistry professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, said: “More than 200 athletes with intellectual disabilities from Connecticut and Massachusetts are expected to register for the event.”  In addition to swim competition, clinics are offered in various sports, aerobics, and arts and crafts.

Volunteers are the backbone of this event.  Approximately 350 volunteers will be needed to continue to make this the largest and most successful Special Olympics Swim Meet in Connecticut.  “The greatest need is for one-to-one partners,” said Wynn. “Participants are paired with their own special partner for the day.  Partners make sure athletes get to their registered events, cheer them on, and get them involved in activities when they’re not swimming.  Volunteers are also needed in areas such as sports clinics, food service and water safety.”

All volunteers will be provided with lunch from McDonald’s and a souvenir Windham Special Olympics t-shirt.  The swim meet is approved for community service credit. Volunteer registration forms can be downloaded at www.Facebook.com/windhamswim.

Special Olympics is a year-round program of physical fitness, sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  The program is unique in that it accommodates competitions at all ability levels by assigning athletes to competition divisions based on both age and performance ability.  According to a study by experts at Yale University, Special Olympics athletes perform better at school, at work and at home the longer they participate in the program.