"The Victory Aces," Victory Living Programs' Volleyball Team, Heads to the Special Olympics USA Games

Jun 05, 2014, 06:23 ET from Victory Living Programs

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For some, playing a sport is about the training, the mental focus and of course, the win. For members of the Victory Living Programs volleyball team, the Victory Aces, playing a sport is about so much more. It's about commitment, it's about a bond between teammates that runs deeper than the next win, and it's about playing to exemplify something powerful – inclusion.

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On June 14, 2014 when the Victory Aces head to the Special Olympics USA Games in Princeton, New Jersey with more than 3,500 athletes from all across the country they will represent the State of Florida as a unified team.

Unified teams are comprised of athletes with intellectual/developmental disabilities and athletes without disabilities, known as unified partners. "A unified team simply means, that some players have disabilities and some do not," states Delaney Toombs, unified partner. "For our team it's really about the camaraderie and the opportunities we have to learn from each other's strengths."

According to Sherry Wheelock, President and CEO of Special Olympics Florida, "Co-ed unified sports is a concept developed by the Special Olympics to encourage inclusion activities, acceptance and education so individuals without disabilities can learn more about those who have disabilities."

Bobbi Wigand, head coach of the Victory Aces and Executive Director of Victory Living Programs, has seen the benefits of unified sports teams' first-hand.

"Some of our athletes have played sports together for more than 25 years and when unified sports were introduced, they welcomed the opportunity to play alongside the partners. Through the years, they have developed lifelong friendships. It has truly been a learning experience for athletes and partners," said Bobbi Wigand. "As part of Team Florida, we are so honored to be representing the State of Florida at the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey."

Many of the unified partners, including three of the members of the Aces, have gone one step further and are also certified Special Olympics' coaches in a variety of sports.

"Just like athletes in the Olympics, our athletes push hard and play harder. They strive to beat their personal bests, defying the odds again and again. From the local ball fields to the shining stage of state, national, and world games, our athletes showcase the talents and triumphs of people with intellectual disabilities," said Wheelock.

In June, The Victory Aces will receive a special send off in Orlando from Special Olympics executives before they head up to New Jersey. They will participate in the Special Olympics USA games from June 14th to June 21st. While in Princeton, the athletes will enjoy special experiences that mirror the Olympics such as, opening and closing ceremonies, athlete privileges, sight seeing adventures and so much more!

For more information on the programs and initiatives Victory Living Programs offers visit www.victoryliving.org.

About Victory Living Programs
For the past four decades, Victory Living Programs has created independent living environments for thousands of people with disabilities.  Based in warm, beautiful Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Victory Living Programs offers premier independent and supported living programs that place clients in their own individual, luxurious apartments. In addition to the top-tier supported and independent living programs, Victory Living Programs also offers an extensive array of programming to assist clients with securing and maintaining employment, learning new skills, volunteering in the community and socializing with their peers - all of which make it possible to infuse independence and transform the lives of people with disabilities. To learn more, visit www.victoryliving.org.

Contact: Laurie Menekou, (954) 271-4666 (or) info@conceptual-communications.com

SOURCE Victory Living Programs