Congratulations to the 2012 Spartan Stores Healthy Athlete of the Year!
Ben Snider from Grand Rapids, Michigan was named the "2012 Spartan Stores Healthy Athlete of the Year" on Thursday, May 31 to a crowd of 6,000 people at Kelly/Shorts Stadium at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant. The announcement was made during Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games presented by Spartan Stores.
"Ben was completely surprised and is so happy to receive this award", said Area 11 (Kent and Barry Counties) Director Diane House.
Snider has competed for eight years in basketball, soccer, poly-hockey, bowling and track. Snider is a team player, shows great sportsmanship and makes sure every athlete has fun. He has gained confidence and self-worth and wants all of the other athletes to experience those feelings as well. Snider takes pride in his accomplishments and understands if effort is put forward, nothing is impossible.
Snider took a class at an early age in nutrition and exercise. He embraced the information and made it a part of his lifestyle. He researches nutritional facts, practices healthy eating habits, exercises, and encourages others to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well. This athlete examines nutritional facts on food packages before purchasing it. During meals he eats appropriate serving sizes. During sporting
events, he even watches what his teammates drink, and makes sure they drink water instead of carbonated drinks.
Snider enjoys running, and when it is cold outside he can be found on a treadmill! He participates in 5K and 10K races. When he runs outside, he even makes family members join him! He will also keep running with whoever has not finished, encouraging them all the way to the end. Snider cares about his own healthy lifestyle and is concerned with the health of others as well. When his uncle was recovering from major surgeries for brain cancer, Snider made sure to help him with everything from carrying his luggage to tying his shoes. This athlete would also do this for any of his teammates.
Snider also works at Blue Water grill, a Gilmore Collection restaurant. He is a 19-year-old from Grand Rapids who demonstrates being a healthy athlete physically, nutritionally and spiritually.
Spartan Stores is very interested in helping communities improve their health and wellness. Together with Special Olympics Michigan, Spartan Stores honors an athlete each year at State Summer Games, who is a leader among other athletes, and strives for wellness as well as a balance of the mind, body and spirit.
Each athlete selected as the Spartan Stores Healthy Athlete of the Year is trained to become a Global Messenger to share the mission of Special Olympics Michigan and the positive impact on athletes. The award winner will also participate in numerous speaking engagements and store appearances throughout the year, arranged by both Special Olympics Michigan and Spartan Stores, Inc.
Spartan began recognizing Special Olympics Michigan athletes in 2008 for their healthy lifestyle and dedication to the Special Olympics Oath: Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. They have been supporting Special Olympics Michigan through monetary contributions since 1985. They also provide volunteers for the State Summer Games and provide all the food to feed the hundreds of volunteers during the two days of competition. In the last 28 years Spartan has raised $7 million for year-round athletic training and State Summer Games, and is a statewide Gold Medal Sponsor and Presenting Sponsor of the State Summer Games.
- 5/25: Volleyball Tournament (Carson City, MI 48811)
- 5/30: 2013 State Summer Games (Mount Pleasant)
- 5/31: Wertz Warriors Golf Outing (Macomb)
- 5/31: Rev It Up Ride (Mt. Pleasant)
- 6/8: 2013 5K Foam Fest (Shelby Twp., Michigan)
- 6/17: Area 8 Golf Invitational (East Lansing)
- 6/18: REO Golf Outing (Northville, MI 48168)
- 6/21: 6th Annual Highlands Golf Classic (Grand Rapids)
- 6/22: LETR Tri-City Area Dodgeball (Bay City, MI 48708)
- 6/22: Area 8 Miniature Golf (Okemos, Michigan 48864)