Chesterton Tribune



Help fund Special Olympics swimmer's run at World Games in Abu Dhabi

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Duneland has more than one Olympic swimmer to boast of.

Jerritt Covington, 19, of Liberty Township, absolutely lit up the pool at the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Wash., in July 2018, winning a gold in the 4x100 Free, silvering in the 200 Free and 100 Breaststroke, and adding a bronze for good measure in the 100 Free.

That outstanding performance has earned him a spot on the U.S. Team at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 8-22, where he’ll be one of only four Hoosiers to compete and the only swimmer from Indiana: in the 100 Fly, the 200 Free, the 400 Free, and a relay TBA.

For Covington, the invitation to join the U.S. Team in Abu Dhabi is the culmination of a career which began when he started swimming at the age of 7. “It’s an honor,” he told the Chesterton Tribune on Tuesday. “It’s really a honor.”

Yet with honor comes responsibility: Covington’s travel expenses are likely to total some $5,000 and International Special Olympics/Indiana is an entirely self-supporting not-for-profit.

“It is his and our responsibility to raise the $5,000 necessary for him to attend,” said Lorrie Woycik of the Porter County Special Olympics Aquatics Management Team. “We receive no funds from any agency and rely on fund-raising for our entire program, approximately 500 athletes.”

So Covington and Woycik are appealing to the public for help. Time, however, is really of the essence, as Covington is scheduled to fly out of Newark, N.J., on Wednesday, March 6.

“We realize there is a short time to help raise that amount, but I am sincerely hoping that you can help fund him,” Woycik said. “It is an opportunity few Special Olympians are given, and Jerritt has worked extremely hard to be the best swimmer he can be.”

To help, go to and search “Jerritt Covington” to find his pledge page.

Throwing the weight of its public-spiritedness behind Covington is the Chesterton/Porter Rotary Club: “The Chesterton/Porter Rotary Club is supporting Special Olympian Jerritt Covington in his run for the Special Olympic World Games competition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

“Covington has been training extensively with area swimming enthusiast Peter DeWitt for the Special Olympics of Indiana and after great success at the state level they are now representing the United States on the international stage.”

And Covington’s coach, Peter DeWitt, couldn’t be more excited for his protˇgˇ. As DeWitt put it, “How does a kid from Indiana get to Abu Dhabi? Chesterton is famous for having swimmers like Blake Pieroni and Jerritt is one of them.”


Posted 2/27/2019




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