QuickStart Tennis will be added to the Summer Games sports offerings in 2011. QuickStart Tennis is designed to teach beginners the game of tennis by using a lower net, smaller court and bigger foam ball. A clinic will be held in conjunction with Basketball Championships Saturday, March 19 to introduce Quick Start Tennis to SOVA coaches. Visit http://www.vatennis.com/juniors/10aunder.html for more information (the Web page is titled 10 and Under Tennis.)
The RTP form is used for a number of different purposes including reporting statistical information to Special Olympics Inc. We now have to track Young Athletes in two separate categories, ages 2–5 and ages 6–7. The RTP Form was revised to reflect this change. The forms are available on the Coach Resources/Forms page.
Also, don’t forget that the number of athletes training in a sport (as reported on RTP forms) is used to calculate Area quotas for state games. Turn in RTPs for all training programs to maximize your Area’s quotas for state games. Region Directors can send you a list of submitted RTPs upon request.
Athletes age 2–7 are invited to participate in a Young Athletes session held in conjunction with Special Olympics Virginia's Basketball Championships. Volunteers interested in starting a Young Athletes program in their Area also are encouraged to attend. This session will be held Saturday, March 19 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. in the cafeteria at Brooke Point High School in Stafford.
The 8th Annual VMI Games will be held at historic Virginia Military Institute Saturday, April 2. This one day event features seven different sports, all played at the same time. The VMI Games offer half court basketball, basketball skills, power lifting, swimming, track and field, bocce and equestrian. VMI provides a buffet dinner after the competition.
The VMI Games, winner of the 2010 Special Olympics Virginia Special Events Award, are open to all Areas throughout the state. E-mail Daniel Leake for more information or to receive a registration packet.
Area 29 (Suffolk) will host a multi-sport invitational Saturday, May 21. Level 1 and Level 2 golf, power lifting, tennis and track and field will be featured.
Contact Michael Clark, Area 29 Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.925.4797 to register athletes for this event.
Areas are invited to register athletes for Area 27’s track and field meet Saturday, April 16 at Fauquier High School in Warrenton. Events offered include 100M, 50M, long jump, softball throw, relays and bocce. For more information e-mail Lin Wiltse or Sandy Chamberlin.
The 2014 Special Olympics USA National Games will be held in Princeton, New Jersey.
Little Feet Meets are a great way to engage preschool and elementary children with intellectual disabilities in Special Olympics. The athletes train at school with their classroom teacher, PE teacher and/or peer buddies. The athletes then take a field trip to a Little Feet Meet demonstration/competition.
Eight motor skill stations are offered for preschoolers, demonstration track events are held for children in grades K–2 (standing long jump, tennis ball throw, 25 meter walk/run) and competition track events are held for children in grades 3–5 (standing long jump, softball throw, 50 meter walk/run). In 2010, Little Feet Meets engaged 818 children with intellectual disabilities and 572 peer buddies from 49 schools in Henrico, Lynchburg, Roanoke City and Roanoke County. 676 high school students ran the events. This year Little Feet Meets will debut in Chesterfield County and Norfolk City.
Contact your Region Director for additional information.
Volunteers who are already Special Olympics certified coaches won’t want to miss this great educational opportunity. West Virginia University in cooperation with Special Olympics offers an online Principles of Coaching course. All information is downloadable, including the Coach Workbook. WVU’s terms during the year are as follows: Spring (January 1-June 30); Summer (May 1-October 31); Fall (August 1-February 28). One can enroll at any time during a term and registration can be rolled over to the following term to complete the course upon request.
To take advantage of this great opportunity, go to http://www.elearn.wvu.edu/Continuing/Career_Training/ and scroll down to Principles of Coaching for Special Olympics. The cost is $35 for this self-paced Web class.
A couple of new staff members joined the Special Olympics Virginia team in January and February. Josh Walker accepted a new position as Director of Development for the southwest portion of the state. Josh hopes to capitalize on his knowledge of the Area programs and develop new cooperative fundraising opportunities for Areas in the Southwest, Shenandoah and Piedmont Regions.
Matt Camire replaced Josh as the Piedmont Region Director. Matt worked with Josh as an intern in the Piedmont Region while a sports management student at Liberty University. Matt is currently enrolled in Liberty’s Sports Administration master’s program.
Eamonn Garvey joined as the Potomac Region Director in January. Eamonn has extensive experience working with people with intellectual disabilities and working with volunteers.
Both Matt and Eamonn are excited to be a part of Special Olympics Virginia and bring lots of new ideas and energy to the organization.
Area 6 voted to split in half at its January council meeting. The Area has grown tremendously over the last few years and has become too large for the leadership volunteers to manage. Amelia, Chesterfield, Goochland, New Kent, West Point and Powhatan will remain Area 6 and Henrico, Hanover and Charles City will become Area 31 effective in June.
Check out Special Olympics Inc.’s new and improved R-word site, www.r-word.org. The site brings all the great content, news and resources of the R-word campaign into one spot for people to engage, utilize, and activate locally as we all work to build inclusive schools and communities where respecting each person’s gifts and abilities is priority number one. The site also makes available R-word logos/resources and merchandise.
Special Olympics Virginia also has its own R-word Web site. Go to www.specialolympicsva.org/rword.
The PDF version of the athlete release and participation form is now in a writable format. This means a parent can go to Special Olympics Virginia's Web site and type in all of the required information. The form then needs to be printed to submit with a doctor’s signature. Access the writable PDF version of the form.
Special Olympics, Inc. has a new resource site for volunteers. Go to http://resources.specialolympics.org for sport rules, coach materials, athlete leadership information and a wide range of other resources.
The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) is sponsoring a video contest entitled, "How do you get enough?" NCPAD is a nonprofit organization focused on physical activity and health promotion for people with disabilities. The intention of this video contest is to illustrate to society that people with disabilities do live healthy active lifestyles as well as share various ways to get physical activity for individuals with disabilities and activity limitations.
Whether it's indoor or outdoor, recreational or competitive, solo or team, easy or intensive, show the world how Special Olympics athletes get enough activity in a 1- to 10-minute video clip. See the video contest rules and entry form, click here. For a sample video, click here.
Don’t forget to notify your Region Director when your contact information changes or when volunteers join or leave your Area/Local Council. Correspondence is sent from multiple staff members using the information in our volunteer database and we count on that information being correct.
For decades, our athletes have been breaking records and achieving personal bests. Feb. 5, thanks to 3,252 Plungers, including 68 VIP athlete plungers who took the icy dip first, and more than 600 5K runners, we also did the best we’ve ever done. That’s right, the 2011 Polar Plunge® Winter Festival topped off at a “cool” $1 million, the most ever raised in the event’s 19 year history.
“Raising a million dollars was more than a goal. It represents an organizational milestone and a huge win for fans of Special Olympics. The funds raised will enroll new athletes, create opportunities for 2-7 year olds through the Young Athlete program and bring more people together to experience the magic of Special Olympics,” said Special Olympics President Rick Jeffrey. “Since more than $100,000 of the funds generated were raised by Special Olympics athletes, parents and volunteers in support of their local programs, to our friends across the Commonwealth of Virginia: thank you for helping us in our continuing effort to build environments of respect, inclusion and unity for all.”
And an extra thank you – and congratulations – to Area 11 and Area 2’s Team Jonathan for rocking the fundraising charts again this year – Area 11 won the Division 2 team competition with more than $29,000 raised; Team Jonathan won the Division 4 team competition with almost $17,000 raised. Other area successes included a “cool” party under the Athlete VIP Tent, during which about 300 athletes, friends and family members enjoyed a tasty Cheeseburger in Paradise lunch, and a new buddy system that helped athlete plungers connect with their parents – and their warm towels – after taking the Plunge.
Region 5 (greater Richmond) of the Law Enforcement Torch Run is looking for a Special Olympics Virginia athlete to serve as a representative on the region committee. The committee consists of law enforcement officers from Central Virginia and its purpose is to organize and support Torch Run efforts in the region. The athlete representative would attend monthly meetings (through July 2011) and would be the voice of Special Olympics athletes to the committee. The meetings are held at the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Transportation can be arranged if necessary. If you are interested in this position or know of an athlete who might be interested, please contact Carrie Dyer at 804.726.3023 or email@example.com.
Raise money for your Area/Local program through Kroger Cares. Area/Local programs can purchase gift cards for any amount and sell the gift cards for face value to Special Olympics Virginia supporters. Your Area/Local will receive 5% of the gift cards' value. Once supporters have a gift card registered with your Area/Local, they can reload their card for any amount and your Area/Local will continue to receive 5% of the gift card value. The gift cards can be used for groceries, gas or prescriptions. Every month, Kroger sends a check to your Area/Local program.
For more information contact Katie Botha at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804.726.3024. To learn more about the success of Kroger Cares, contact Kelly Kinser at 804.726.3029 or email@example.com.
On March 26th the Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run will be taking over as celebrity servers at your local Red Robin Restaurant to help raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Virginia. The day just isn’t complete without YOU, the Special Olympics Virginia athletes and volunteers! Come out and join the fun as a greeter or a law enforcement buddy…or just swing by for a delicious burger!
When: March 26th (lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m., dinner 4-8 p.m.)
Where: Red Robin Restaurants across Virginia. For detailed location information visit www.torchrunva.com and click on Events.
Contact: Let us know you’re coming! Call Carrie Dyer at 804.467.1250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Competing is not as special without fans – and that goes for any sports competition, including Special Olympics. Be part of something special: Volunteer to Cheer at the 2011 Basketball Championships, March 18-19 in Stafford. Sign up today at www.volunteer2cheer.com. Please help us spread the word about this fan-tastic opportunity, and help us reach our goal of a record 1,000 fans in the stands! For more information, please contact Gray Miller.