Articles in Athletic Events

Third Annual Ankeny Play Day Sponsored by Sammons a Success

IMG_6667Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) hosted two Young Athlete Play Activity Day sessions sponsored by Sammons Financial Group on April 21. The event was held at Ankeny Centennial High School with one session running in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The Youth Athlete Play Activity Day is a program designed to provide play activities and socialization opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities between the ages of two and seven. The program is for children that are too young to participate in traditional SOIA competitions as the minimum entry age for traditional competition is eight years old. Area schools participated in the Ankeny Play Day, as well as a few schools that were from outside the area, making it the biggest Play Day event in its history.

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USTA Sponsored Tennis Competition August 27

The USTA is sponsoring a tennis competition on August 27, 2016 at the North Scott High School tennis courts in Eldridge for Special Olympics athletes, ages 8 and up. There will be singles matches played with a ranking of 2.0 and higher.

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Mid-Winter Tournament Set for March 11-12 in Iowa City

mid-winter-bball-skills-shootMore than 1,000 Special Olympics Iowa athletes and Unified Sports partners from across Iowa are set to compete in the annual Mid-Winter Tournament to be held March 11-12 in Iowa City. The event is made possible with the help of more than 350 volunteers from across the state.

Powerlifting, team basketball (3-on-3 and 5-on-5) and gymnastics competitions will be held at the University of Iowa Field House, while Iowa City West High School will host cheerleading, dance and basketball skills. Competition begins at 9 a.m. March 12. A Healthy Athletes session will be held from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Iowa City West High School.

The Opening Ceremony will take place March 11 at 6 p.m. along with a banquet and dance at the Coralville Marriott Exhibit Hall.

Tentative Schedule of Events

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Winter Games Becomes Highlight of J-Term for Univ. of Dubuque Class

news-speed-skating-volunteer-helpThe volunteer spirit was shining bright during Special Olympics Iowa Winter Games in Dubuque, especially among a group of students from the University of Dubuque who were lending a helping hand at the Mystique Ice Arena. For five years, the Quest for the Cup class, taught by Jim Romagna, has helped to make sure the figure skating and speed skating events run smoothly. Students help with race coordination, helping athletes on and off the ice, cheering them on during their events, race timing, awards, set-up and tear down.

Romagna is the department head of the Health, Wellness and Sport Program at the university and has turned volunteering at Winter Games into an annual event in the course syllabus. The J-term class is held for three weeks during the university’s winter break, with the primary focus on learning the history of the Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL hockey team. Students get an inside look at hockey operations including marketing, fundraising, practices, off-ice workouts and more.

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2016 Winter Games Recap

Thank you to our athletes, coaches, chaperones, volunteers and sponsors for making the 30th Annual Winter Games a success! We took the cold weather in stride, bundled up extra tight and had a wonderful three days in Dubuque!

If you missed out on the action, catch up with the links below:

Winter Games Preview – We Are Iowa Local 5 News

Special Olympics Athletes Gather for Opening of Winter Games – KCRG

Despite Cold Weather, Special Olympics Winter Games Continues – KWWL

Cheering Section Brings Out Best in Special Olympics Athletes in Dubuque – Dubuque Telegraph Herald

Frigid Conditions Don’t Slow Special Olympics Athletes in Dubuque – Dubuque Telegraph Herald

See Photos on Our Facebook Page!

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30th Annual Winter Games in Dubuque Jan. 11-13

winter-games-skiing-groupSpecial Olympics Iowa (SOIA) will hold the 30th Annual Winter Games in Dubuque Jan. 11-13 with more than 375 athletes from 47 delegations across the state set to compete in Alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, short-track speed skating and figure skating.

Full Schedule of Events

More than 170 coaches and chaperones, along with more than 300 volunteers, will join the athletes and make the event a success. The Grand Harbor Center, Sundown Mountain, Albrecht Acres and Mystique Community Ice Center will host the competitions and activities.

“We are both proud and excited to celebrate 30 years of Winter Games with the city of Dubuque,” said SOIA CEO Gary Harms. “The people and businesses in this city have opened their arms and their hearts to our wonderful athletes, families, coaches, staff and volunteers for many years.  We are thrilled to return for this annual event, and look forward to celebrating many more years of Winter Games in Dubuque.”

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12 Days of Athletes – Meet Brian

In the spirit of the holidays, Special Olympics Iowa is featuring 12 Days of Athletes throughout the month of December. In honor of these amazing athletes, please consider making your year-end donation to Special Olympics Iowa. If your donation is received by December 31, it will be DOUBLED!


12-days-athletes-brianName: Brian Steinford
Age: 30
Delegation: Cedar Valley Ranch, East Central Area
SOIA sports I participate in: athletics, softball, basketball, football, volleyball and bowling

What is your favorite part of Special Olympics? Getting to meet new people and the competition!

What is a fun fact about yourself? I collect cologne.

What is your favorite part about the holiday season? Giving!

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Because of forecasts of adverse winter weather conditions throughout the state of Iowa, the Special Olympics Iowa State Bowling Tournament, scheduled for Saturday, November 21, in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Sioux City has been cancelled. It will not be rescheduled.

The forecast continues to call for sleet, heavy snow and wind throughout the state on Friday and into the early hours of Saturday, with heavy winds continuing throughout the day on Saturday.

This was not an easy decision to make. We did our best to carefully consider all of the information available, including feedback from our delegations, athlete family members and volunteers, and weigh the consequences of moving forward with the event versus canceling it.  In the end, it came down to our commitment to your safety and to the safety of our athletes, coaches, families and volunteers.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the state office at 515-986-5520.

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State Bowling Tournament Scheduled for Nov. 21 in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Sioux City

bowling-medalMore than 800 athletes from across Iowa will be competing in the Special Olympics Iowa State Bowling Tournament on Nov. 21. The tournament will span three locations – Westdale Bowl in Cedar Rapids, Bowlerama in Des Moines and Plaza Lanes in Sioux City.

Athletes of all ages will compete in singles, doubles and four-person team bowling. Bowing is also offered as a Unified sport in doubles and four-person team, where athletes with intellectual disabilities are paired with athletes without disabilities. Ramp bowling is available for athletes who are unable to roll their own bowling ball.

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Mark Your Calendar for State Volleyball Tournament Oct. 10

volleyball-serveThe Iowa State University Kinesiology and Health Club will once again be an instrumental part of the Special Olympics Iowa State Volleyball Tournament, slated for October 10 at the Forker Building on the ISU campus.

Each year, the ISU Kinesiology and Health Club provides invaluable support for the tournament, coordinating the venue and students in the program to volunteer.

Registration is due to the state office by Sept. 18. In order to compete in the State Volleyball Tournament, an athlete’s Application for Participation must be valid through Oct. 11, 2015.

Please contact Rhonda Schwarzkopf at 515-986-5520 if you have any questions.

Souvenirs for Sale at State Volleyball Tournament

In an effort to provide souvenir items at more competitions, SOIA staff will be selling t-shirts, polos, shorts, hats and other items at the state volleyball tournament this year.

Keep an eye out for souvenir sales at other upcoming events! All proceeds from the souvenir sales go directly to Special Olympics Iowa.

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