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McGovern, TNT announce launch of Fargo Able Games

Wednesday, June 12, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Administration
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Written By: Clay Cunningham | 

Fargo Shanley graduate and Denver Broncos pro football player Connor McGovern speaks at the Confidence through Movement luncheon fundraiser for TNT Kid's Fitness & Gymnastics on Monday, June 10, at Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Fargo Shanley graduate and Denver Broncos pro football player Connor McGovern speaks at the Confidence through Movement luncheon fundraiser for TNT Kid's Fitness & Gymnastics on Monday, June 10, at Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor 

 

FARGO — Provided with a platform to positively impact his hometown, Connor McGovern isn't letting this opportunity go to waste.

The former Fargo Shanley standout's talents on the football field have taken him all the way to the NFL. Currently preparing for his fourth season, McGovern is slated to start at center for the Denver Broncos in 2019.

Knowing people in his hometown look up to him, McGovern has attempted to put that notoriety to good use on his return trips to Fargo.

"Everybody in my world does some sort of philanthropy," he said. "And it's a lot easier to come back and donate your time to something you really appreciate and really enjoy."

McGovern has found just that through his work with TNT Kid's Fitness and Gymnastics in Fargo, which does extensive work with special-needs athletes.

Having been involved with TNT for more than a decade, McGovern, who also worked with special needs competitors while at the University of Missouri, amplified his efforts earlier this year, when he and Executive Director Kim Pladson began discussing plans to bring a new athletic events to the area.

The end result was the Fargo Able Games, which will hold its inaugural competition at Scheels Arena in April 2020. A joint effort between CrossFit and TNT, the launch of the event was announced at a luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn Monday.

Working as a companion event to the annual FargoMania, which is exclusively for special-needs athletes, the Able Games will be open to all competitors.

"We just wanted an outlet for everyone to compete together," McGovern said. "Whether you have special needs or don't, we wanted everyone to go in and compete at the same competition and have fun doing what everyone loves to do."

"We really learned he had a passion to help and bring more awareness to a population that doesn't have a lot of opportunities," Pladson added. "To have that caliber of a face to the competition will draw more people in. It's going to be a great pull for our community."

Also assisting McGovern in getting the program off the ground has been Sam and Jenn Dancer, national CrossFit competitors he met through mutual friends. The Dancers, who are currently training for the CrossFit Games in August, were on hand for the announcement of the Fargo Able Games Monday.

Aside from building what he hopes will be an annual event in Fargo, McGovern's ambitions also extend to the national level.

He recently began working with Denver-area CrossFit athlete Kevin Ogar, who was paralyzed from the waist down during a weightlifting accident in 2014, with the hopes of starting a special needs division of CrossFit.

If events like the Fargo Able Games prove to be a success, McGovern believes that will go a long way towards helping he and Ogar achieve their ultimate goal.

"Hopefully (special needs athletes) can make it to the games one day if this keeps growing the way we plan," he said. "Once we start bringing recognition to it, I have a feeling CrossFit will jump on the bandwagon pretty quick. This could be another avenue for these athletes to compete and show their true colors."


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