From all of us at Special Olympics Louisiana, we want to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!
Special Olympics Louisiana, along with the entire Special Olympics organization, is celebrating a MAJOR milestone in Special Olympics’ 50-year history. Thanks to the generous support of ESPN, the Department of Education, Kim Samuel and the Samuel Family Foundation, Lions Club International,and many others, Special Olympics exceeded its goal of registering 1 million Unified Sports participants. There are currently 1.2 MILLION PARTICIPANTS involved in Unified Sports, including athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and teammates (individuals without intellectual disabilities). Unified Sports is now in more than 4300 schools across the United States. Special Olympics Louisiana currently offers more than 250 Unified Sports teams including Aquatics, Athletics, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Cycling, Flag Football, Golf, Horseshoes, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball. Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team and playing field. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.
Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2013! What can you do to observe it?
Include: Observance of the Day provides opportunities for Special Olympics athletes, family members, coaches, volunteers, Program staff and supporters to focus on issues related to the inclusion of people with disabilities in our communities, in our work places, in our schools, in our media.
Organize: Hold forums, public discussions and social media campaigns to help find innovative ways and means by which people with disabilities and their families can be further integrated into their societies and development plans.
Celebrate: Plan and organize Unified sports matches or demo skills matches to showcase and celebrate the abilities and talents of people with disabilities/intellectual disabilities as agents of change and development in the communities in which they live
Take Action: A major focus of the Day is practical and concrete action to include disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality. Highlight progress and obstacles in implementing disability-sensitive policies, as well as promote public awareness to break barriers and open doors: for an inclusive society for all.
Today, Princeton University is celebrating 267 years since receiving its charter back in 1746! Princeton prides itself as being a community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations. Next Summer, the Special Olympics USA Games will be held on Princeton’s campus. Special Olympics Louisiana will be sending a delegation of 101 athletes to compete and in a few weeks, there will be a Training Camp to determine the final delegation. Congratulations, Princeton!
Here is to a great NEW YEAR!