OLD TOWN – A dedication took place on Oct. 4 during the annual Special Olympics Maine Central Maine Soccer Tournament at the Old Town-Orono YMCA. More than 200 athletes, coaches, family members and friends were on hand to receive three sets of 5-aside competition goals.
The goals were purchased with money received from memorial donations in memory of Dedham teen Benjamin Tardiff, a longtime volunteer for Special Olympics Maine and an avid soccer enthusiast. He died in a car accident in 2005. His mother Belinda, stepfather Tom and several family members were on hand to present the goals to the athletes.
“This is going to be a huge addition to our soccer program,” said CEO of Special Olympics Maine Phil Geelhoed. “In the past we have had to borrow from schools or sports programs, or use field hockey goals and sometimes we simply used cones.”
Special Olympics Maine is a year-round athletic training and competition program for persons of all ages with intellectual disabilities. In Maine nearly 3,000 athletes participate in Special Olympics. In addition to soccer, the program offers numerous other Olympic-style winter and summer sports.