The University of Toledo football program hosted its fifth annual “Victory Day” for special needs students Aug. 19 in the Glass Bowl.
Participating students met UT football players, ran drills, and heard their names announced over the public address system as they scored a touchdown.Victory Day is an opportunity for special needs students to have their moment in the sun on the football field. Each student was partnered with a UT football player who served as his or her mentor for the day. Victory Day athletes wore Rocket T-shirts and were presented with medals at the end of the day to commemorate their victory.
Toledo football players, cheerleaders, Rocky the Rocket and marching band members were on hand to cheer on the participants.
“This is a humbling day and humbling experience for our players. It’s something our guys look forward to every year,” said UT Head Coach Jason Candle. “Victory Day comes at a perfect time for us — right in the middle of the grind of training camp. This is a perfect way to put things in perspective and make us realize how grateful we should be to be able to do what we love each and every day. It’s great to watch these young people come out here and have a smile on their face all afternoon as they interact with our players. It’s a tremendous day all around.”
Victory Day was started in 2010 by Aaron Segedi, a teacher and football coach from Trenton, Mich., a cancer survivor whose life was saved thanks to a liver donation from his sister, Rhonda. Since then, the Victory Day program has been adopted by high schools and universities in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
The Rockets first celebrated Victory Day came in 2014.