JESPY’s Athletics and Fitness Program emphasizes overall physical fitness, health and wellness, and development of social skills.
JESPY clients of all levels of abilities enjoy the team spirit, sportsmanship and opportunity to engage with other athletes across New Jersey and beyond. Approximately 80 men and women participate on the following teams:
Basketball Bocce Bowling Cheerleading Golf
Soccer Softball Tennis Track & Field Volleyball
Team sports evolve each year as the clients’ interests change. Volleyball and golf were the latest popular additions, and clients are extremely fond of basketball.
For clients who may not be ready to, or do not wish to, compete in league play, they have the flexibility to:
- participate in team practice without the commitment to a full schedule
- travel with the team to sporting events.
For more than 20 years, JESPY House has been proud to be a participant in the Special Olympics New Jersey Games. We represent the largest group of athletes in Essex County and continue to be successful in many events, with a long history of excellence in athletics.
- In 2017, JESPY clients were chosen to carry the torch and lead the athletes in reciting the Special Olympics Oath at the Essex County opening ceremony.
- Five JESPY athletes were chosen to participate in the 2018 National Special Olympics Games in Seattle, Washington.
The sibling of a JESPY athlete described the delight she experienced as her brother got ready for a Special Olympics weekend: “I dropped him off at JESPY and the excitement from our clients was deafening. They proudly wore their team shirts and hats. They are a part of something and together they are now whole.”
In March 2019, JESPY client Jane Clark won several medals (bronze, silver) and 4th place in singles at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. She competed in the sport of bowling. Jane also won a Gold medal at the Special Olympics – Area 6 competition in New Jersey.
Tico’s Gym at the JESPY Clubhouse
JESPY’s new program space at 15 Valley Street has been named “Tico’s Gym at The JESPY Clubhouse” to honor the memory of Albert “Tico” Shikiar, the late husband of JESPY board member, Suki Marsh Shikiar. Close friends and family called him by his nickname “Tico”.
Albert had a passion for South Orange-based JESPY House. He and his wife, Suki have been enthusiastic supporters of JESPY, helping in ways large and small for many years.
Albert enjoyed exercising and staying fit. Marrying his passion for JESPY with his interest in healthy living, donations made in memory of Albert have supported the establishment of Tico’s Gym at The JESPY Clubhouse.
The facility at 15 Valley Street is the ‘home base’ for JESPY’s Athletics and Fitness programs, which include small group fitness workshops, one-to-one personal training sessions, nutrition counseling, lifestyle wellness activities and Special Olympics sports.
Staff are highly knowledgeable with a certification in Sport and Exercise for Special Populations and backgrounds in Kinesiology. Tico’s Gym has designated areas for exercise (utilizing professional gym equipment), nutrition education, and an array of fun, interactive activities.
Daily precautions (which include mask-wearing, temperature checks, frequent hand-washing, and sterilization of all equipment) are taken to provide clients with a safe environment to socialize with their peers and learn various healthy lifestyle modifications.
good sportsmanship, good fitness, good friends