Athletes across the Commonwealth are invited to compete in this year’s Level 1 Golf Competition at First Tee in Chesterfield, Saturday, Sept. 18. This event is open to Level 1 golfers and potential higher level golfers that need to post a Level 1 score in order to quality for other golf levels.
Contact your Area Coordinator for registration materials. The registration deadline is Aug. 24 and all athletes must have a valid Release Form and Application for Participation Form on file in the Harrisonburg office by Aug. 24. There is no registration fee and no quota restrictions for this tournament.
Athletes who have passed the Level 1 Eligibility Test prior to Nov. 2009, can walk 18 holes and are able to maintain course pace of play are invited to participate in a fun PAR Tournament. This is a 2-man Team Captain’s Choice Tournament. Each athlete will be paired with a junior First Tee golfer. The event will be Saturday, Sept. 18 at First Tee of Chesterfield.
Contact your Area Coordinator for registration materials. The registration deadline is Aug. 24 and all athletes must have a valid Release Form and Application for Participation Form on file in the Harrisonburg office by Aug. 24. Each Area received an initial quota of three athletes.
Team Virginia Brings Home Gold, Silver and Bronze from 2010 National Games
Special Olympics Team Virginia has returned victorious from the 2010 Special Olympics National Games, which took place July 18-23 at the University of Nebraska. Team Virginia took home a combined total of 18 gold medals, 18 silver medals and 12 bronze medals. 33 team Virginia athletes joined nearly 3,000 Special Olympics athletes for one of the world’s largest sporting events in 2010. Access the final results for each Virginia athlete.
Special Olympics Inc. (SOI) has 250 volunteer assignments for people around the world during the 2011 World Summer Games in Athens, Greece. These volunteers will pay their own way to get to and from Athens as well as their lodging while there. In return they are given the opportunity to receive the same training, transportation, meals, and uniforms as the local Greek volunteers.
The SOI international volunteer opportunity deadline is Nov. 26. Nominations will be considered on a first-come first-served basis. Access the application form.
The 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games will be held in Athens, Greece from June 25 to July 4. Golf medal winners from the 2009 Fall Championships and 2010 Summer Games were randomly drawn to advance to the 2011 World Games. Congratulations to these SOVA athletes:
SOI is piloting the extended quota at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The extended quota gives elite athletes in a small number of sports (golf, marathon and tennis) the opportunity to compete against the best in the world. The extended quota does not take away slots from other athletes. It is merely a forum to showcase elite Special Olympics athletes.
SOVA nominated three athletes for extended quota consideration and all were accepted to compete in Athens. Congratulations to:
The Paralympics is a competition program for elite athletes with disabilities. The Paralympics are, again, open to athletes with intellectual disabilities. Swimming, track & field, rowing and table tennis were named as the sports that will be given start slots to athletes with intellectual disabilities.
For more eligibility information, click here.
Winter Championships will feature speed skating and two-person team bowling competitions. The event date in January is still pending.
In an attempt to make Winter Championships bigger, speed skaters from other states will be invited to participate. The Special Olympics Virginia staff is also considering adding additional sports to Winter Championships and/or changing the bowling competition format.
Most of the 2010–11 state games competition dates are set. We are still trying to finalize ice rink plans for the Winter Championships. Access the State Games Competition Calendar,
The number of coaches and chaperones Areas wish to register for state games continues to rise. Coach/chaperone limits for the 2010–2011 state games are outlined below. Remember that areas are required to provide at least one chaperone for every four athletes.
• 1 coach/chaperone for every 3 athletes
• 1 additional coach/chaperone for every 15 athletes
• 1 coach/chaperone for every athlete using a wheelchair
• Each delegation may register additional coaches/chaperones at cost. The cost varies by event and is based on the housing and meal expenses. The number of additional coaches/chaperones is limited to 10% of the total number of athletes registered.
Fall Championships - $90
Alpine Skiing Championships - $250
Winter Championships - $90
Basketball Championships - $90
Summer Games - $130
Special Olympics athletes are invited to participate in a FREE 1 mile race on Saturday, Oct. 2. All participants will receive a T-shirt and runners medal. Awards will be presented to top male and female adult and young adult (<18) athletes. This race is limited to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. All participants must be registered to run. The race begins at 7:45 AM in downtown Richmond.
The Capitol 10 Miler benefits Special Olympics Virginia Area 6. Volunteers and athletes who can run 10 miles in under two hours may register to participate in the 10 Miler for $45 and children without intellectual disabilities ages 6-12 may register for the Chick-fil-A 1 mile fun run for $10. 100% of the Chick-fil-A 1 mile fun run benefits Area 6.
Click here for more information and to register.
The first coach in the country to pass the Principles of Coaching Online Course via West Virginia University’s Extended Learning Department was Pat Smith from Franklin, Virginia. Here is what Pat conveyed about the instructor Sandra Ryder, Esq., Ph.D., and the course: “Thank you so much for all your help. I really enjoyed the class. It was very informative and helped me in preparing the training sessions better. I have forwarded the information to other coaches in my Area and am highly recommending it. Thank you again for everything.”
To take advantage of this great opportunity, click here and scroll down to Principles of Coaching for Special Olympics. The cost is $35 for this self-paced web class.
Special Olympics, Inc. is launching a new fundraising event in honor of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Special Olympics VA will receive residual funds for anyone that indicates on their registration form that they found out about the event through Special Olympics VA. We expect that some Special Olympics VA athletes will be asked to participate in the event, although we currently have no details about the number of athletes and their role in the event. Access more information about the event.
Special Olympics Virginia's Potomac Region Office soon will have a new look. Michelle Gates, Director of Development, left in June to move to Vermont with her family. Michelle was with Special Olympics VA for seven years and did a great job of working cooperatively with the Area 26 Council in Fairfax and growing Special Olympics VA events.
Beth Frank’s last day with us as the Potomac Region Director will be Aug. 15. For five years Beth worked enthusiastically with the volunteers in the Potomac and Rappahannock Regions to improve and grow the program. Beth is leaving to pursue a calling to ministry.
Ellen Fitzgerald will begin her development career with us Aug. 16. Ellen has a BA in American Studies from Notre Dame and a master’s degree in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts. Ellen is joining SOVA after five years of work in collegiate athletics first at Harvard, then two years at Towson University and the last two years at (UVA) Virginia Sports Properties/CBS Collegiate Sports Properties. In these positions she developed and maintained sponsor relationships to further the impact of collegiate athletics at those institutions.
We are excited to have Ellen join our team and bring her sports marketing and event talents to benefit the athletes of SOVA.
Danielle Pokusa, Rappahannock Region Director, will assume Beth’s former role as Potomac Region Director. Danielle is in her third year with us and actually began her Special Olympics career with Special Olympics Florida prior to moving back to Virginia. While Danielle is looking forward to working with the volunteers in Areas 14 and 26, she is sorry to not continue her close working relationships with the great volunteers in Areas 11, 23, 27 and 28. Danielle will be busy during the next month as she begins transitioning into the Potomac Region position while making sure that plans for the Rappahannock Region are set for the upcoming program year.
We are currently searching for a new Rappahannock Region Director based in Fredericksburg. We anticipate that the position will be filled by the end of August.
The Virginia Farm Bureau is the presenting sponsor of our Annual Recognition Program for volunteers and athletes. The five awards we will present for 2010 are the Athlete of the Year Award, the Area Volunteer of the Year Award, the Coach of the Year Award, the Family of the Year Award and the Virginia H. Foster Winning Spirit Award.
Each Area will be required to submit either a Coach of the Year or Volunteer of the Year nominee from their Area. The Virginia Farm Bureau will recognize one volunteer (coach or volunteer) from each Area as the Virginia Farm Bureau Area Volunteer of the Year. These individuals will receive a plaque and be recognized by a local Virginia Farm Bureau representative.
The winners of the Area Volunteer of the Year will be evaluated by an awards committee and one coach and one volunteer will be selected as the Special Olympics VA Volunteer of the Year and Special Olympics VA Coach of the Year for 2010.
Areas that submit at least one coach or volunteer award nomination will receive scholarships for athletes to attend Summer Games in 2011. Areas that do not submit a nomination for this award may forfeit their scholarships to the other Areas in their Region. In the event that an Area does not submit a candidate for these awards, SOVA reserves the right to submit a candidate for that Area.
All Awards nominations are due by Friday, Nov. 19, 2010. Please help us recognize your deserving athletes and volunteers. Access nomination forms.
If you weren’t there, you missed a great weekend. Highlights were Ashley Counts, Area 26 athlete, talking about her experiences as an athlete leader, and Mariah Burton Nelson sharing her humorous story of meeting with Mrs. Shriver to explore writing her memoirs.
Due to the low participation rate this summer, a statewide volunteer conference will not be held in 2011. Please contact your Region Director or Val Reinford if your Area would like to schedule training on a specific topic.
Special Friends Online and the national charity Follow Your Dreams support people with learning/intellectual disabilities and their families.
www.specialfriendsonline.com is a secure social networking site which makes browsing and messaging enjoyable for all who may be vulnerable on the internet. The idea for the website was inspired by the 2007 Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai and a number of Special Olympics athletes are registered. In addition to social networking, the site also provides inspirational aspects and further information with support links for parents, carers, groups and professionals connected with those who have a special need.
It is free to register with Special Friends Online and once a new member has been approved they will have access to all facilities on the site, including chat rooms, forums, our global What’s On guide, games, jokes, poems, inspirational videos and stories about our heroes and special stars.
Why not register and have a look and once you are happy with our site please spread the word? Special Friends is considered one of the safest websites on the internet, moderated 24 hours a day, with report buttons, profanity filters, new member approval software and optional padlocks to close chat rooms and messaging features.
Special Olympics VA is working in cooperation with SOI on a new planned giving program. The program seeks to identify supporters who wish to include a financial gift to SO in their estate plans or will. The donor can designate SOI, Special Olympics VA or an Area/Local program as the gift recipient. Whoever the donor designates will receive 90% of the gift and SOI will receive 10% of the gift.
Area/Local programs have the opportunity to refer potential donors to Special Olympics Virginia. We will get the donor in touch with the appropriate Planned Giving staff at SOI to complete the process. The donor determines the beneficiary of their bequest. For more information e-mail Roy Zeidman or call him at 804.726.3022.
Special Olympics VA received its largest individual gift ($460,000) last year as the result of a bequest from a donor. SOVA’s Board of Directors opted to create an endowment fund with $250,000 to provide Summer Games scholarships for Area programs. Generally, the interest from the endowment will result in 66 scholarships given to Area programs annually.
Over the past month, Global Messengers have been busy spreading the word about the Special Olympics movement and saying thank you to some generous new corporate sponsors across the state. In late June, Stephanie Klett made a speech at a Richmond area Denny's location that is participating in a national promotion to raise funds for Special Olympics through August 2011. In late July, Casey and Brendan Hammeke made a whirlwind tour of Northern Virginia to visit 7 TD Bank locations that are participating in a million dollar fundraising drive for 12 Special Olympics programs along the East Coast of the United States. Casey and Brendan not only showcased their speaking skills and hard won medals; they actually GAVE their medals to TD Bank employees to encourage them to reach their goals. Now that's inspiring! Please remember to say thank you next time you visit any of our sponsors' place of business. An updated list of state level sponsors is always available in the Sponsors section of our main Web site.