New Milford resident Ray Hadden, a certified Global Messenger for Special Olympics recently visited the state Capitol.

A team of about 10 Global Messengers advocated for the awareness of athletes with special needs and talents by talking with state representatives and senators.

Hadden was greeted in the House of Representatives by State Representative Bill Buckbee (R-67th) before being introduced to the entire membership of the chamber.

“It’s important for legislators to talk to these hardworking athletes and learn how we can support them through state policies,” Buckbee said.

“These athletes practice and compete at levels that have exceeded the expectations of most, all while advocating for those with different abilities,” he said. “Ultimately, we owe it to this group of individuals for strengthening our local communities and making the world a better place to live in.”

Hadden first competed in 1984 and has received myriad of awards and accolades throughout his career.

Special Olympics Connecticut, which was founded in 1968, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The organization provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.