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Special Athletes chosen for 2014 National Games



  The Henry County Parks and Recreation Department’s Therapeutic Recreation Division is proud to announce that three Henry County Athletes who participate in the Special Olympic program have been chosen as part of the Georgia team to represent the state in 2014 USA Games.

  The Henry County athletes chosen are Melissa Dodgen for Bocce, Tarcia Keys and her event partner, Davina Ford, for Bowling, and Brittney Hagelthorn and her event partner, Mandy Conner, for Tennis. They have been selected as members of Team Georgia for the 2014 National Games, to be held June 14-21, 2014 in Princeton, New Jersey.

  According to Kelli Britt, Senior Coach and Program Manager for the Special Olympics Georgia Association (SOGA), the Special Olympic Games is expected to draw a large crowd, including approximately 3,000 athletes, 1,000 coaches, 8,000 volunteers and nearly 15,000 family and friends. She lauded the dedication of the volunteers and said it’s a wonderful opportunity for the athletes as well.

  “Their commitment and training has been rewarded as they will get to compete against other Special Olympics Athletes from North America. This is a once in a lifetime experience for every athlete and coach. Special Olympics Georgia is proud to have them as our representatives,” said Kelli Britt.

  Britt said that corporate sponsors help to underwrite the cost of the games and the trip for athletes and their partners, and ask agencies be responsible for $285 of the cost per athlete / partner.

  According to Terry Nash, Therapeutic Recreation Coordinator for the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department, fundraisers are planned in the near future to help with the cost of the trip. She also said that HCPRD has been involved with Special Olympics for the past 20 years and is proud of all of the special athletes’ accomplishments.

  “We have gone to national invitationals before, but this is the first time we’ve been invited to Team USA nationals. We are very excited about our three athletes and two partners being chosen for the national games.” said Nash. 

  For more information on the Henry County Parks and Recreation’s Therapeutic Recreation Division or any of the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department’s many programs, visit



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