Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) recently announced that he has secured funding for United Cerebral Palsy of Suffolk in Hauppauge. This state funding will be utilized by the organization to offset the cost of supporting the Suffolk Seagulls, a group of competitive athletes with disabilities.
According to UCP Suffolk, they have sponsored this group for over 20 years. The Suffolk Seagulls are a competitive sports team for female and male athletes, 14 years or older, with cerebral palsy or other physical disabilities. The athletes compete both in team and individual competitions regionally, nationally and internationally.
As a team they have won international championship in wheelchair soccer, while several individual athletes have medalled and set national and world records in track and field, power lifting and boccia competitions.
Since there is no external or government funding for a sports and recreation program, the athletes sell raffles and engage in several other promotions throughout the year to help augment the program.
"Senator Flanagan's support of our sports program is fantastic," said UCP Suffolk Executive Director Stephen H. Friedman. "The team, volunteer coaches and everyone at UCP greatly appreciates the his efforts to obtain these funds and for everything he does for individuals with disabilities."
"The Suffolk Seagulls present a great opportunity to participate in athletics and it is my pleasure to assist UCP Suffolk with funding," stated Senator Flanagan. "Sports is a great avenue for mental and physical enjoyment. Everyone should have the same opportunity to enjoy the benefits of athletic competition. I applaud UCP Suffolk and admire these athletes for their hard work."