PRESS BOX

5025 David Edwards Drive, San Antonio, TX 78233

SAN ANTONIO, TX, June 23, 2021 – Morgan’s Wonderland Sports, a $4-million complex providing fitness and competition for athletes of all abilities, will celebrate grand opening with its inaugural Sports Expo on Saturday morning, June 26.

Members of the general public and especially those who would like to take advantage of all that Morgan’s Wonderland Sports has to offer are invited to attend the free Sports Expo at 5025 David Edwards Drive, just west of world-renowned Morgan’s Wonderland theme park in Northeast San Antonio.

Sports Expo activities will begin at 9 a.m. with greetings from philanthropist Gordon Hartman, who with wife Maggie created Morgan’s Wonderland and other Ultra-Accessible™, fully-inclusive venues with the special-needs community in mind. Their inspiration – 27-year-old daughter Morgan, who’s dealt with physical and cognitive special needs all her life – is scheduled to throw out the first pitch at the complex’s baseball/softball diamond following her father’s remarks.

Sports demonstrations and activities will be conducted as follows:

9:30-noon – Wheelchair softball tournament;

10-10:20 – Wheelchair pickleball and pickleball;

10:30-10:50 – Wheelchair tennis and tennis;

11-11:20 – Wheelchair football and football.

In addition, open play in all sports plus disc golf will be available from 9:30 a.m. until noon. After the Sports Expo, guests who would like to experience Morgan’s Wonderland and/or award-winning Morgan’s Inspiration Island splash park can take advantage of admission discounts during park operating hours that wrap up at 5 p.m.

Three-acre Morgan’s Wonderland Sports offers 30 court or field combinations including two baseball/softball fields, five tennis courts, 20 pickleball courts, a football field, a basketball court and a volleyball court, Hartman said. It also features an 8,000-square-foot covered pavilion and a separate stage to serve as a focal point for walks to raise funds for charitable organizations, performances and other special events. More than 2 acres of concrete playing surfaces were painted to minimize heat from the sun and striped in accordance with regulation dimensions for the various sports.

Support facilities include special LED lighting for athletes with visual impairments, Ultra-Accessible™ restrooms, bottle refill water fountains and sports fencing for tennis, pickleball and other sports to keep balls in play.

Morgan’s Wonderland Sports is also headquarters for STRAPS (South Texas Regional Adaptive and Para Sports), which offers athletes with physical disabilities and visual impairments the chance to take part in 13 different sports, and the complex houses the San Antonio office of Special Olympics Texas. It will play a role in the Special Olympics Texas 2021 Summer Games, Sept. 19-22, at Morgan’s Wonderland and nearby facilities.

Additional information about Morgan’s Wonderland Sports can be found at www.MorgansWonderlandSports.com.

“We had hoped to have our grand opening festivities many months ago,” Hartman said, “but the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to drastically alter our plans. Yet it’s not too late to celebrate. We believe Morgan’s Wonderland Sports will be the site of many memorable athletic contests and a place where athletes of all ages and abilities can have lots of fun and achieve their utmost potential.”

Morgan’s Wonderland Sports is an outgrowth of the success of non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first theme park designed with those with special needs in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment. Other “family” members include Morgan’s Inspiration Island and new Morgan’s Wonderland Camp. These world-class recreational ventures comprise the Morgan’s Wonderland Inclusion Foundation, which coordinates fundraising, planning and communication among all Morgan’s Wonderland-related initiatives. For more information, visit www.MWIF.com.

Ultra Accessible badge

Ultra-Accessible™ refers to removing both physical and economic barriers that confront children and adults with special needs. This means that those with and without special needs can come together in a fully-inclusive environment for fun and a better understanding of one another.

This event is free to the public, no registration is required. 

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Sports competition expected to attract more than a thousand athletes from across Lone Star State

SAN ANTONIO, TX, June 15, 2021 – Special Olympics Texas’ (SOTX) 2021 Summer Games will be held Sept. 19-22 and hosted for the second time in a row by Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio—”Inclusion City, USA,” SOTX officials and partners announced today at the unique theme park.

The four-day gathering, which is free and open to the public, is SOTX’s largest competition of the year, and it’s expected to attract more than a thousand athletes from all around the state of Texas.

“We are so honored to be back at Morgan’s Wonderland for the second consecutive time,” said Tim Martin, SOTX CEO. “Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we weren’t able to hold the 2020 Summer Games, but we’re back, and the excitement among our athletes is off the charts. It’s safe to say they had their best time yet during the 50th anniversary Games in San Antonio in 2019. We cannot wait to watch them compete again and thoroughly enjoy themselves.”

“We’re delighted and proud to again host one of the largest Special Olympics events in the nation,” said Gordon Hartman, who with wife Maggie created world-renowned Morgan’s Wonderland and spearheaded other ventures to assist the special-needs community. “We’re also eager to see the athletes return to San Antonio, to compete and to enjoy Morgan’s Wonderland and our new Morgan’s Wonderland Sports complex.”

Summer Games highlights will include opening ceremonies on Sunday, Sept. 19, at Toyota Field, a Victory Dance that same evening at Morgan’s Wonderland Sports and a Victory Celebration on Monday evening, Sept. 20, at Ultra-Accessible™, fully-inclusive Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first and only theme park designed with those with special needs in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.

Another high point will be the inaugural Infinitus (meaning “unlimited”) Games from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Sept. 19 and 20, at new Morgan’s Wonderland Camp, 23215 Cibolo Vista. The Infinitus Games will offer athletes ages 3 and older, who because of their physical and/or developmental abilities, the opportunity to work on foundational motor skills to prepare them for possible competition in official SOTX events.

SOTX athletes will participate in one of five sports: athletics (track & field), cycling, gymnastics, soccer or tennis. Special Olympics athletes across the state have been training for their sport for a minimum of 12 weeks, while also participating at an area-level competition. They will be supported by more than a hundred coaches. Martin announced that Pinch-A-Penny Pool-Patio-Spa (www.pinchapenny.com) will be presenting sponsor for the 2021 Summer Games. Hosted by Morgan’s Wonderland, the Games also will be presented by Spurs Sports and Entertainment, H-E-B, Energy Transfer, Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of TeletónUSA, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Whataburger and the North East Independent School District of San Antonio. Statewide SOTX annual sponsors are the Law Enforcement Torch Run, H-E-B Tournament of Champions, I.B.C, the Knights of Columbus, the City of Richardson Corporate Challenge, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages and Toyota.

Martin issued a call for volunteers who will serve as officials, scorekeepers, award presenters and more. For information on volunteer opportunities, visit www.SOTX.org/SummerGames. During the 2019 Games, many volunteers came from San Antonio’s military community, said Air Force Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller, commander of Joint Base San Antonio. She noted that military members “love to give back to those local communities where we serve.”

Announcement of the 2021 Summer Games also included an appearance by the H. M. King High School cheerleaders from Kingsville and remarks by two Unified Sports athletes – SOTX athlete Josiah Tolliver and Unified partner Caleb Carter of Judson High School. Unified Sports teams enable Special Olympics athletes to participate in sports activities with peers without disabilities. In addition, numerous first responders that organize the Law Enforcement Torch Run immediately preceding the Summer Games attended the announcement.

Martin explained that SOTX is “committed to providing year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.” In 1969, Special Olympics Texas held its first competition. The Summer Games are part of the Inclusion Revolution, Special Olympics’ mission to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities worldwide and create inclusive communities.

Hartman said San Antonio – proclaimed in 2015 by the City Council as “Inclusion City, USA” – is the perfect location for the Summer Games because of the community’s ongoing emphasis on accessibility and inclusiveness for people of all abilities.

For more information, contact Jessica Kilbane – (737) 867-9659, jkilbane@sotx.org; or Bob McCullough – (210) 495-5888, bmccullough@MorgansWonderland.com.

For volunteer opportunities with the 2021 Summer Games click here.

About Special Olympics Texas

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 58,800 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicstexas.org or call (800)876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexasfb.com/SpecialOlympicsTXyoutube.com/specialolympicstexas.

About Morgan’s Wonderland

Non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland, which is completely wheelchair-accessible, spreads out over 25 acres at 5223 David Edwards Drive in Northeast San Antonio and offers more than 25 attractions for guests of all ages and abilities. The success of Morgan’s Wonderland has led to creation of the Morgan’s Wonderland Inclusion Foundation (MWIF), which coordinates fundraising, planning and communications among all Morgan’s Wonderland-related ventures including Morgan’s Inspiration Island, Morgan’s

Wonderland Sports, Morgan’s Wonderland Camp and new endeavors such as the Multi-Assistance Center at Morgan’s Wonderland, or The MAC. For more information, visit www.MWIF.com.

More from The Press Box

June 15, 2021 – Special Olympics Texas 2021 Summer Games Returning to Morgan’s Wonderland, September 19-22, 2021 – read more

April 8, 2021 – New Morgan’s Wonderland Sports Complex To Host Texas Regional Games, April 16-18 – read more

December 7, 2020 – First Baseball Game at Inclusion Field Launches YMCA-Morgan’s Wonderland Sports Partnership – read more

October 6, 2020 – New Morgan’s Wonderland Sports Hosts Virtual Ribbon-Cutting, Welcomes Special Olympics Texas – read more

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