University of Delaware and Towson University student-athletes will take part in the second annual Pigskin Pass next Satuday, Sept. 22, a 58-mile relay run from the 50-yard line of Delaware Stadium at the University of Delaware to the 50-yard line of Towson’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The special game ball will be delivered prior to kick-off of the annual Towson-Delaware Football game, which is slated for 7 p.m. The game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
Saturday morning, Delaware student-athletes will run the ball half the distance to Festival Park in Aberdeen, where they will be welcomed by Aberdeen Mayor, S. Fred Simmons, and Towson University student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
Following a brief ceremony, Delaware’s Blue Hen mascot, YoUDee, will hand the ceremonial game ball off to Towson’s Mascot, Doc, and the Towson student-athletes will run the ball the rest of the way to Unitas Stadium. The students’ objective in taking on this challenge is to raise money for each school’s respective Special Olympics chapter
Once the Towson University students reach the campus, everyone who participated in the run that day is invited to join Special Olympics Athletes in a pre-game celebration, and to run the final leg into Unitas Stadium prior to kick-off. Officers from both Towson and Delaware’s Student-Athlete Advisory Councils will present a check for the money they have raised together for Special Olympics programs to Maryland and Delaware Chapter representatives. Last year, close to $13,000 was raised between the two rival schools.
Pigskin Pass runners are currently seeking donations for the relay. Any business or individuals interested in sponsoring a mile or supporting a runner with an amount of their choosing can donate online at www.pigskinpass.com. Individual contributions over and above $58 ($1 per mile) are eligible for a commemorative T-shirt.
The Pigskin Pass is a joint community service initiative sponsored by the Student-Athlete Advisory Councils at both the University of Delaware and Towson University. It is a visible example of athletes supporting athletes.
The event would not be possible without the assistance of their respective Special Olympics chapters and Law Enforcement volunteers from Maryland and Delaware. The hope is that this event will continue as a tradition and that each year, the visiting school will initiate the relay from its stadium with the game ball delivered by student athletes from the host institution prior to kick-off.
The winner of the football game receives a Pigskin Pass Trophy donated from the Special Olympics chapters. Towson University won the game last year, 49-35, at Delaware Stadium.
Special Olympics Delaware is an organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Through year-round sports training, athletic competition and related programs conducted for more than 2,700 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the organization creates a model community that celebrates people's diverse gifts. Special Olympics Delaware builds sports skills, confidence, strength, motivation and self-esteem - not just for athletes, but for everyone involved.