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RecSports prepares for Late Night Olympics

Justin Tardiff | Friday, February 3, 2006

The Joyce Center will open its doors to athletes at all levels of competition as it plays host to the 20th annual Late Night Olympics Saturday night. Sponsored by RecSports, this event raises money for St. Joseph County’s Special Olympics.

Assistant Director of RecSports and Late Night Olympics organizer Bill Reagan estimated that anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 students will turn out for one or more of the 17 competitive events – they include everything from three-on-three basketball and volleyball to lesser-known sports such as inner-tube water polo, Nerf football and broomball.

“Last year, we had over 1,200 [student participants],” Reagan said.

Thirteen brother/sister dorm teams from both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, in addition to Notre Dame’s MBA Association, will compete for the title of “champion.”

For the last six years, the team of Keough and Welsh Family Halls has taken home the crown.

“They seem to have quite a dynasty going,” Reagan said.

While the fierce competition between the dorm teams is the main attraction of the event, the real business of the evening is raising money for Special Olympics. Last year, more than $8,600 was raised.

“The unique thing about [the money] is that there is no corporate sponsorship,” Regan said. “It is all coming from the students.”

Fundraising will take the form of open skate fees, penny wars, entry fees, raffle and simple donations.

Sporting events begin at 6 p.m. Saturday and continue until about 4 a.m. Sunday, Reagan said.

“It should be a really good time for a really good cause,” Saint Mary’s freshman Katie McInerney said.