Special Olympics Florida

Mets host spring training clinic for champions

Written by:  Jon Santucci, Treasure Coast Newspapers 

For a few hours Sunday afternoon, several of the Treasure Coast’s Special Olympian athletes shared the field with major leaguers.

New York Mets players and staff, along with St. Lucie County Commissioners and Administrators hosted the Spring Training Clinic for Champions for approximately 80 Special Olympian athletes and their families at the First Data Field Complex.


A group of Special Olympics athletes take a group picture with New York Mets players
and coaches during the Spring Clinic For Champions at First Data Field
in Port St. Lucie on Sunday. 


Outfielders Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo, pitcher Steven Matz and manager Mickey Callaway were among the instructors. Minor league outfielder and former University of Florida star quarterback Tim Tebow also served as an instructor.


Tim Tebow has his picture taken with a Special Olympics athlete on Sunday at First Data Field in Port St. Lucie. 


Special Olympians stretched on outfield grass and rotated between stations, including infield, outfield, pitching and hitting in the batting cages. They also ran bases at the end of the event.

It is the fourth consecutive year the Mets have hosted the event.

“The Mets players and coaches are always proud to host the Special Olympic athletes during Spring Training,” Calloway said in a written statement. “It’s a great opportunity for our players to interact and learn from these extraordinary athletes. These athletes bring boundless energy and joy and to be honest with you, I’m not sure if our guys don’t enjoy the clinic more than they do.”

The Mets had their first full-squad workout Monday. They open Grapefruit League play Friday against the Atlanta Braves.


Special Olympics athletes run down a line getting high 5s from
New York Mets players and coaches in Port St. Lucie on Sunday.