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Nassau to host Empire State Games for physically challenged

Christian Muniz, 11, of Tuckahoe, participates in the

Christian Muniz, 11, of Tuckahoe, participates in the long jump during the Victory Challenge, Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale. (June 2, 2012) Credit: Barry Sloan

County Executive Edward Mangano announced Wednesday that Nassau once again will host the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged, from May 30 through June 1 at Mitchel Athletic Complex and Nassau Community College.

“The young student athletes are truly inspirational to watch,” Mangano said on the gym floor of the Henry Viscardi School for the disabled in Albertson. “For one weekend, they get to compete with their friends from across New York State, share their stories and continue to build long-lasting friendships.”

With the support of private-sector donations, this will be the third year Nassau has hosted the event that had its state funding withdrawn after 2010. This is the games’ 29th year.

The Empire State Games are free for athletes and viewers, and they include track and field, archery, wheelchair basketball and table tennis. Participants ranging in age from 5 to 21 have disabilities that include visual impairment, cerebral palsy and amputations.

NBTY Helping Hands Charity, a nonprofit corporation formed by NBTY Inc., a leading manufacturer and distributor of nutritional supplements, is again the event sponsor of the games. Its donation of $50,000 will help provide a memorable weekend of events for the student athletes participating in the games, Mangano said, surrounded by a host of other sponsors.

“I challenge the public,” Mangano said, to “support these student athletes and experience firsthand their joy and triumph.”

Other sponsors include King Kullen, Hofstra University, NuHealth, Veolia Bus, Lars Enterprises, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Long Island, the Bussani Mobility Team, Astoria Federal Savings, Cre8ive Video Promotions and the Testaverde Fund.

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