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Touch Down for Special Olympics Athletes


A mini football “combine” was held over the weekend in Indianapolis for Special Olympics athletes to experience a series of drills and activities similar to those performed by athletes simultaneously participating in the NFL Scouting Combine.

Occurring in the same city, the NFL Scouting Combine featured more than 300 of the nation’s top college football players, who were timed, tested and interviewed in what is an intense, four-day job interview in advance of the NFL college draft.

Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Joe Reitz hosted the clinic at the Colts’ indoor training facility. They worked with some 40 Special Olympics athletes and a similar number of volunteers, which included Knights of Columbus, members of Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC), and athletes, coaches and officials from Marian University. Also joining them was Supreme Secretary Charles Maurer Jr.

CAC was a sponsor of the event, along with the Indiana Knights of Columbus and Special Olympics Indiana. Reitz, a member of Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC), told the athletes about having correct priorities in their lives.

The participants completed elements of the mini “combine” that resembled events from the NFL Combine, such as the 40-yard dash and agility drills. They also played a flag football game led by Reitz.

“The mini combine event is a reminder of the dignity of the human person, which is what the Knights of Columbus-Special Olympics partnership is about,” said Indiana State Deputy Scott Cunningham, who has led an effort to make Special Olympics a statewide priority for the Indiana Knights.

A “Founding Champion of the World Games,” the K of C allocated $1.5 million to last summer’s Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles to help cover the costs of athletes’ transportation, housing and meals.