Delaware Women’s Cross Country Coach Jim Fischer to be Honored by Special Olympics Delaware Oct. 6
October 5, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
Story Courtesy of Jon Buzby, Special Olympics Delaware
NEWARK, Del. -- Jim Fischer, director of running programs and head women’s cross country coach at the University of Delaware, says it’s the smiles on the athletes’ faces that serve as his fondest memory after 20 years of volunteering for Special Olympics Delaware.
Fischer (at right) will be one of 10 award winners who will be honored on Thursday night, Oct. 6, at the 2011 Night of Heroes Dinner. The annual Night of Heroes, sponsored by DOW, celebrates the significant contributions of people and organizations both from the past year and over a longer period of time.
Held each fall, the evening's awards program and reception is an opportunity for the Special Olympics family to come together and celebrate the organization's successes and recognize those who made it possible. The event will be held at the Executive Banquet & Conference Center in Newark. KYW Newsradio news anchor Ed Abrams will serve as master of ceremonies.
Anyone who knows Fischer isn’t surprised to see him donning his farmer’s-like hat and spending two straight days at the finish line of the Summer Games track meet, shying away from the limelight and simply blending in with other volunteers.
“It’s important that the athletes have officials for the competitions,” Fischer says when asked what entices him to spend two long, hot days on the track just after the NCAA season has ended.
It’s on that track where Fischer made sure the Special Olympics distances were marked when the surface was refurbished several years ago.
“I’m pretty sure we are the only Special Olympics program in the country that has its event markings permanently etched on its track,” says Gary Cimaglia Sr., director of sports. “What Coach Fischer has done for us is probably unmatched anywhere in the country by another Division I head coach.”
Fischer has served as a clinician for as long as anyone can remember, even going as far as providing videotape analysis of athletes’ techniques.
“It is important that the athletes have coaches who have technical knowledge,” he says. “The athletes have to be given the opportunity to improve, and that can only happen with good coaching.”
Fischer’s efforts in the track and field community at every level have been well documented. Special Olympics Delaware is fortunate to be counted as one of his passions.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to train, compete, and meet new people,” he says. “If I can help in any way, it’s a highlight for me.”