For the second consecutive year, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, in coordination with Hope College athletics and the Southwest Region of Special Olympics Michigan, will host a ceremonial relay race to kick-off the 2019 MIAA Swimming and Diving Championships, hosted by Hope at the Holland Aquatic Center Feb. 20-23.
Special Olympics athletes will compete in a Unified Sports Experience with MIAA swimmers prior to the start of Wednesday evening's Championship races on Feb. 20. The 150-yard freestyle relay will be held at 5:40 p.m., prior to the Championship's start at 6 p.m. Relay teams will feature three Special Olympics Athletes partnered with three MIAA student-athletes, with each competitor swimming a 25-yard leg.
This is the second year the MIAA will host a Unified Sports Experience prior to the MIAA Swimming and Diving Championships; after an exciting and successful event to kick-off the 2018 Championship, the event was planned once again.
NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has been partnering with Special Olympics since 2011. The purpose of the partnership is to enhance the lives of Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes through a mutual learning experience; provide a platform for recognition of Special Olympics athletes and Division III student-athletes within their communities; and raise awareness of Special Olympics, its programs and services.