The New York Jets center returned to his hometown to host ABLE Games, which hosts fitness programs for children with special needs.
Entering his sixth year in the NFL, Connor McGovern knows all about competition. Last weekend, he found a way to open the floor to athletes of all abilities.
The New York Jets center recently returned to his hometown of Fargo, ND to host ABLE Games, described on its official website as “the region’s first all-inclusive test of functional fitness”. ABLE Games is an athletic competition and celebration run last weekend,
“We were looking for a way to really allow people of all abilities to compete,” McGovern said in a video introducing the ABLE Games concept. “It is fun to compete . . . to be able to help somebody have that joy, and give them the ability to compete for the first time in a physical setting like that is really special.”
“It’s a feeling that everyone deserves to have and that’s what I want to give.”
It’s part of a partnership that McGovern has established with TNT Kid’s Fitness & Gymnastics, a Fargo-based gym and non-profit organization that is “working toward understanding, accepting, and helping all children grow stronger with confidence“. McGovern has repped the organization during the NFL’s “My Cleats, My Cause” program during his professional endeavors in New York and Denver.
The event was originally scheduled for April of last year before health protocols moved things back. It was finally staged over the weekend with McGovern in attendance. According to InForum, 150 people participated in the event centered on CrossFit activities.
“The ABLE Games started as a way to really show everybody the abilities of everybody,” McGovern said in a report from Jahmal Kennedy. “Whether you have special needs, or you’re a Crossfit champion this event allows everybody to come together in one spot and to show your ability.”
“So many people put their blood, sweat, and tears into this event. It’s been something that’s pretty special for a lot of people, so it’s surreal that all the meetings, all the phone calls, all the planning finally coming to fruition.”
McGovern is entering his second season with the Jets, having signed a three-year, $27 million contract last offseason.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags