Coaches Needed!

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Was there a mentor, teacher or coach who made a difference in your life? The one who gave you the courage and determination to strive to be your best? The one who helped shape both your performance and your character? You can be that important person in someone else’s life.

Coaches teach the skills and spirit that define a true athlete. Coaches are role models and character-builders. Special Olympics coaches go even further.They help athletes find their own strengths and abilities. They also show them how to build upon those strengths and improve every day.

As a Special Olympics coach, you bring enthusiasm, commitment and a positive attitude to each practice, event and competition. You will enrich the lives of our athletes in many life-changing ways. The skills and confidence an athlete learns through sports have a long and lasting effect.

Call 800.345.6644 or visit http://www.laso.org for more information on becoming a SOLA coach.

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Young Athletes

With the generous support of the Mattel Children’s Foundation, the Young Athletes Program is an innovative sports play program designed to introduce children with intellectual disabilities to the world of sports prior to their Special Olympics eligibility.

Designed for children ages 2 through 7, the Young Athletes program is designed to strengthen physical development and self-esteem by building skills for future sports participation and socialization. These skills can also help increase the participant’s motor tracking and eye-hand coordination. The program encourages families to become involved as the child learns success through physical activity, all while connecting with their intellectually disabled child in unique ways.

Find out more about the program here. 

 

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December Athlete Spotlight: Da’quan Ward

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  • Q :  Have you ever attended a World or National Games?

    A :  No, but I am attending the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games for the first time next year.

  •  Q :  What are some interesting things about you?
      A:  I’ve been an employee at Dominos for 3 years and I have one brother. I love playing basketball, football, video games, and I love to exercise!
  • Q : What is your favorite memory that has happened while you have been with Special Olympics?

    A :  When we win our basketball games.

  • Q : Who has helped you the most to get to this point?

    A  : My mom.

 

Athlete Spotlight- Emily Rachal

Emily RachalNAME: Emily Rachal
HOME TOWN: Alexandria, LA
SPORTS: Basketball, Baseball, & Bowling
AGE: 28
YEARS INVOLVED: 1

Q  Are you employed?
A  Yes. I work at the Rapides Arc doing warehouse work using tools and fulfilling contracts with factories. I have been working there for 1 year.
Q  What is your favorite Special Olympics memory?
A  My favorite memories are travelling to competitions, making friends, and getting to bowl. I am much more social now that I’m involved in Special Olympics.

Q  What are some of your hobbies?
A  I love to shop for clothes. I also love to play the card game UNO.

Q What are your goals?
A  I want to become a professional bowler.

How Special Olympics Changed One Athlete’s Life

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Timothy Hart with Coach Elaine Ramoz

By: Elaine Ramoz, SOLA Coach

Special Olympics athlete, Timothy Hart, who participates in aquatics, athletics, bowling and power lifting, is a 17 year old with Autism.  He started participating in aquatics for Special Olympics when he was eight years old.  He participated in track and field in elementary school, but after being bullied for being “different” his parents chose to place him in home school with one other special needs student.  Here he spends his time with his best friend, Griffin.

Timothy has shown that he has true potential to be an all around athlete, with the drive and determination of an Olympian, he crushes every goal that he sets.

Competing in Special Olympics Louisiana, Timothy has opened up in so many ways.  As his coach for all of these sports, I have seen him grow as an individual.  His “disability” hasn’t slowed him down at all.  He now starts conversations, calls, texts and face times his teammates and coaches.  He is now making friends with people his own age.  The smile on his face is one that will melt anyone’s heart and seeing him being accepted for who he truly is, is a great sight to see.  At competitions, he sits with other athletes, laughs, makes jokes and always has a smile on his face.  Timothy has never been one to be super social, but because of Special Olympics Louisiana, he has transitioned into a new person.  Someone who wants to talk to others.  Someone who is making friends, sets goals and achieves them.  With the love and support of his family, fan club, coaches and teammates, he cannot fail.

For the second year, he has participated in the Northwest Louisiana Summer Swim League with The Swim School.  Being one of the two swimmers in the entire league with special needs, he continues to keep up with the “big boys.”  He has placed in all five meets this season, an accomplishment no one saw coming.  Not only does he keep up with the competition, he has made new friends and has truly come out of his shell.  He has made lifelong friends through the sport of swimming and has influenced his teammates to become Special Olympics volunteers, coaches and even unified partners.  His best friends plan to join him at State Fall Classic in the Unified Relay for Aquatics.  His peers have taken it upon themselves to include him in everything that they do.  A moment that really warms my heart, his parents and the hearts of the entire team.  They have truly accepted the concept of inclusion.

 

This Fall, The Swim School, in partnership with the YMCA of Northwest La, plan on bringing up to 30 aquatics athletes to the 2017 State Fall Classic.  These swimmers will all be school aged.  There will be at least eight coaches, if not more, plus more volunteers and about eight unified partners.  The Northwest Louisiana delegation will grow by at least 50! Keep an eye out for Timothy as he goes for the gold at SFC!