ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Emmanuel Sanders’ impact on Special Olympics Colorado won’t be limited to Tuesday evening’s PLAY 60 All-Ability Clinic.
The veteran wide receiver certainly made the most of the event, which gave more than 125 athletes the opportunity to participate in football drills inclusive to participants of all abilities. Sanders joined other Broncos players, Denver Broncos Cheerleaders, Miles the Mascot and members of local law enforcement in assisting the participants from Special Olympics Colorado.
But he didn’t stop there.
Sanders, on behalf of his foundation, announced he would donate 300 pinnies for Special Olympics Colorado athletes to use at future programming.
“It’s just my upbringing,” Sanders said. “Nobody really gave me an opportunity. I come from a small, small town. An [impoverished] situation in which if it wasn’t for certain people giving me sporting equipment and doing certain things for me, I probably wouldn’t be talking to you guys right here. I always told myself once I got to a certain level and reached a certain platform that I would always give back. So that’s what I’m doing here.”
Sanders’ foundation, which provides children from financially disadvantaged families with resources, has previously donated equipment to those in need via Emmanuel’s Locker. Through the program, students at a Title I school have access to a locker filled with sports equipment to use in after-school sports. Without Emmanuel’s Locker, some of the students may not have access to the equipment they need to either participate or succeed in their given sport.
“We donated to a middle school that cut back their sports program, and we were able to bring that sports program back,” Sanders said.
Sanders’ equipment donation should help Special Olympics Colorado continue to provide the best possible experience for its athletes.
“It means so much to us, because we raise every dollar in the community,” said Mindy Watrous, the president and CEO of Special Olympics Colorado. “So as a result, when we get equipment of that caliber and that cost donated to us, we’re very grateful.”
Special Olympics Colorado, which provides opportunities for more than 25,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities, helps offer more than 100 events a year.