New Jersey is gearing up for next year's Special Olympics competitions in June. The Special Olympics New Jersey Sports Complex is in Lawrenceville and is home to a variety of competitions and sports training activities, for adults and children with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics New Jersey President Marc Edenzon recently hosted Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Jennifer Velez and Deputy Commissioner Dawn Apgar on a tour of the 34,000 square foot facility and provided an overview of the 24 sports, 160 competitions, and programs about Health, Leadership and a unique program for very young athletes.

"Special Olympics New Jersey offers a remarkable array of competitions for athletes of all ages, programs that will help develop skills and an understanding of sport that they can carry beyond Special Olympics, into their schools and communities as part of inclusive play,” said Velez. "The value of personal achievement and the pride of accomplishment extend well beyond the games, providing positive experiences for adults and children who build upon these experiences in their daily lives."

Athletes are offered free participation to all sports training and competition held at the complex.  There are programs offered on the local, county, sectional and state levels. More than 23,000 children and adults participate statewide.

“Offering programs in both the Sports Complex as well as in local schools and communities throughout New Jersey is an enormous benefit to families,” said Apgar, who oversees state services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “Many families have expressed that Special Olympics provides the encouragement, energy and enrichment that means so much to the athletes and to everyone in the family.”