Articles from September 2016

FIT Focus- October 2016

By: Gabrielle Magee, SOIA Intern 

As a part of the FIT program, “Fall Into Fitness” is back for a second year! Fall Into FIT-logo-vertical-203x300Fitness is a 10-week walking program aimed at helping Special Olympic athletes stay active and lead healthy lifestyles.

The program began on September 12 and will end on November 18. The program includes a grand total of 175 participants, including Special Olympic athletes and Unified Partners. The participants are members of 12 separate delegations that compose the walking clubs. The goal of the walking clubs is to meet at least once a week to walk together to build healthy habits, stay active and maintain motivation. Along with the walking program, each athlete will complete the FIT Program pre- and post-assessments in order to monitor their fitness improvements.

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SOIA Receives $15,000 Grant from Variety- the Children’s Charity to Fund Play Days and Unified Sports®

Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) has received a $15,000 grant from Variety- the Children’s Charity to fund Young Athletes Play Days and Unified Sports®.logo-variety

Young Athletes Play Days are designed to provide play activities and socialization opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities between the ages of two and seven. Play Days were created to serve children too young to participate in formal Special Olympics events (athletes can begin competing at age eight).

“Variety- the Children’s Charity and Special Olympics Iowa have been great partners for many years. Our desire to serve is identical; our rewards are the smiles that we receive and the passion that is shown on the faces of those who we are privileged to walk beside,” says SOIA President and CEO Gary Harms. “Our Young Athlete Play Days are the first introduction of that which Special Olympics Iowa has to share with our wonderful participants and young people, as well as their families and fans.”

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Staff Column: Over the Edge

345 feet. One rappel. One cause. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to face the fear of heights, now is your chance! Special Olympics Iowa’s annual fundraiser Over the Edge will literally take you over the edge of the Financial Center in downtown Des Moines to raise money and awareness for SOIA athletes.030 (533x800)

How does Over the Edge exactly work? You must fundraise a minimum of $1,000 to secure your rappelling spot for Wednesday, October 26. You’ll then be assigned a rappel time for that day. You’ll report to the Financial Center the day of the event and will be given instruction on where to go and how to scale down the side of the building. And don’t worry, you’ll be wearing a harness and safety gear!

Of course, if going Over the Edge sounds a little scary to you, there are other ways you can get involved in the event. We’re always looking for more volunteers to help out the day of the event. We even encourage you to help recruit rappellers for the event.

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Living Unified – Tiffany and Robin

By: Lori Emery, Delegation Manager- Sioux City Knights 

Many of those reading this may already be familiar with the term Unified Partner as it applies to Special Olympics. However, there are some that do not know about this opportunity to be involved with our athletes. Special Olympics Unified Sports® is an inclusive program that combines individuals with intellectual disabilities (athletes) and individuals without intellectual disabilities (Unified Partners) on sports teams for training and

Meet Robin Hair and Tiffany Bauerly of the Sioux City Knights Special Olympics Iowa delegation. This dynamic duo has lived the unified lifestyle for more than 12 years and is proud to be part of the Special Olympics Unified Sports® movement.

Tiffany first met Robin through Best Buddies, a college program that matched a college student with an individual in the community that had special needs.  Tiffany and Robin would go bowling weekly through this program, but quickly saw that their friendship was growing outside the program. 

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Athlete Ben Bradshaw Bowls 300

Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) would like to congratulate athlete Ben Bradshaw of img_20160917_140058410-450x800the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Delegation for bowling a 300 game at a recent practice.

Ben has been in Special Olympics for four years and participates in bowling, basketball, softball and soccer. He started bowling at the age of three and started bowling for SOIA in 2013.

He says in his younger years he bowled on several leagues and he has a dream of going pro. His highest game before his recent 300 score was a 279 when he was 12 years old. Ben admits that he was getting a little nervous in the 8th frame, but it all worked out in the end.

From all of us at SOIA, congratulations again, Ben. Keep making us proud!

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USTA Tennis Competition

On August 27, 2016 the USTA sponsored a tennis competition for Special Olympics Iowa athletes at the North Scott High School tennis courts in Eldridge, Iowa.USTA tennis

About 40 athletes enjoyed great weather and friendly competition while playing singles matches all day. The event included free T-shirts, an award ceremony, pictures and a lunch for athletes, coaches and volunteers. There were also daytime fireworks for all to enjoy!

SOIA would like to thank the USTA for helping put on the event and giving Iowa athletes a great opportunity to test their tennis skills, and volunteers and parents for making the day run smoothly.

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