Articles in Coaches

Spread the Word to End the Word at Iowa State Capitol March 1

spread-the-word-logoSpecial Olympics Iowa will be hosting Spread the Word to End the Word Day March 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Iowa State Capitol first floor rotunda. Spread the Word to End the Word is a national campaign to help make a stand against a word that has gained popularity in culture, but is offensive to many. The “R-word” has found a place in common language and seems to be accepted by most., despite the fact that its use, casual or otherwise, is hurtful to millions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those that love them.

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FIT Focus: March to Summer Games

FIT-logo-verticalAs a continuation of the FIT Program and the goal of helping Special Olympic athletes build healthy habits, March to Summer Games will begin March 1 and will include 250 participants. March to Summer Games is a walking club that allows Special Olympics athletes and Unified Partners opportunities to build a habit of moving and becoming more active. It is a flexible program through Special Olympics Iowa that should be easy to maintain.

Each club will meet at least once per week (or more if desired) to walk. Miles will be added up and used in a competition format where Special Olympics athletes and teams with the highest average miles will receive awards at Summer Games. The FIT Program pre- and post-assessments will be done to record fitness improvement.  The 11-week program will begin March 1 and end May 15.  If you are interested in March to Summer Games contact Bruce Wilson or Stephanie Boylan

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Coaches Corner: Sending Forms to the State Office

As we move into a new year, the staff at Special Olympics Iowa would like to welcome our new families, coaches and delegation managers and thank everyone returning for your continued support. We would also like to remind you a few housekeeping items:

  • Athlete physicals may be emailed to (The coach should keep an original copy for their records).
  • Registration/entry forms for area competitions should be sent to your area director.
  • Registration/entry forms for state competitions should be sent to the state office at
  • Class A volunteer applications should be sent to the state office at
  • The 2016 Coaches’ Guide can be found at In the Competitions drop list, click on Participation Forms, and the link is on the left in the orange Helpful Links section.

Please Note: Whenever you are scanning something to the state office, call or email to let us know so we can verify we received your document.

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Thank you Area Directors!

Special Olympics Iowa serves more than 12,000 athletes and Unified Sports Partners. Nearly 90 Special Olympics events and special programs are held each year throughout the state, giving athletes a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents.

Thousands of volunteers are utilized each year at both the area and state levels to facilitate and manage sports competitions for the athletes. The key volunteers for scheduling and implementing the area competitions are the area directors. These volunteers understand and promote the Special Olympics mission, goals and philosophies.

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FIT Program Success: Fall and Winter Sports

FIT-logo-verticalThe fall Fitness Improvement Training (FIT) athletes have found success with the FIT Program! Thirty-two athletes have completed the program thus far by finishing the pre-assessment, FITness training, and post-assessment.

These athletes are split between four delegations. Delegation 1 performed the 10-station assessment with an average improvement of 37.82 percent among its three athletes. Delegation 2 saw an overall average improvement of 24.92 percent in their modified 5-station assessment with sixteen athletes. Delegation 3 saw an average improvement of 19.13 percent for its five-station assessment as well as an average weight loss of 13.33 pounds per person with the three athletes! Delegation 4 improved by 11.42 percent with the 10-station assessment for 10 athletes.

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Athlete Physical Updates

When submitting an athlete’s Application for Participation, please keep the following in mind:

  • Athlete Physical Form – Any physical other than the Application for Participation in Special Olympics Iowa will not be accepted. This form is specifically designed for Special Olympics. Information listed on this form may not be listed on other forms.
    • If we do receive a different physical (example: school physical) that physical will not be approved and will be returned back to the sender, if possible.
    • If an athlete is transferring from another Special Olympics state program, we may accept their physical upon review.
  • Athlete Consent – If the athlete is over the age of 18 and is their own legal guardian, they may sign the consent but they must have a witness signature.
    • If the athlete is over the age of 18 and is not their own legal guardian, the legal guardian will need to sign the consent form. If the form is not signed by the legal guardian the physical will not be approved.
  • Verbal Consents – Per Special Olympics North America (SONA), we are required to have written consents only. Effective August 19, 2015, verbal consents will not be accepted.
  • Delegation – Please remember to fill in the delegation at the top of the athlete physical. This helps ensure each athlete is placed with the correct delegation.
  • Completion – Please remember to fill in all information on the athlete physical form. If all parts are filled in correctly, it will speed up the entry process and increase the likeliness of the physical being approved.

For legal reasons and for the safety of our athletes we have to follow these guidelines. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you have any questions, contact the state office at 515-986-5520.

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Sammons Partnership Brings Coach into the SOIA Softball Family

softball team

Rick King (center) became an SOIA softball coach when he learned of the opportunity through Sammons Financial Group.

The Special Olympics Iowa State Softball Tournament has been sponsored by Sammons Financial Group since 2010. The company not only donates money to keep the event going, but lines the softball fields with volunteers each summer.

One of those volunteers loved the event so much, he became a coach for one of the Link Associates team. Rick King is a process improvement consultant for Sammons and has coached softball and baseball for 15 years.

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