The important dates and deadlines for Summer Games are as follows:
Summer Games again will be held in part at St. Christopher’s School this year. Shuttle buses will run on Friday and Saturday to and from the University of Richmond to St. Christopher’s.
The family hotel at Summer Games is the Richmond Crown Plaza West located on Broad Street. The rate is $74 per room. Call 800.593.5447 to make a reservation.
Mini-javelin was added as an athletics event last year. Several National Games athletes will compete in the mini-javelin this summer. A mini-javelin demonstration will be held during Summer Games on Saturday around noon on the track infield. Areas may choose to offer this event at Area competitions.
A Young Athletes demonstration will also be included in Summer Games starting at 10:45 a.m. on the baseball field adjacent to the track. Children with intellectual disabilities ages 2–7 will have the opportunity to participate in motor activities stations and run/walk a 25M race on the track around noon.
The 2011 Special Olympics Summer World Games are scheduled to be held in Athens, Greece from June 25–July 4. This means that the 2010 Special Olympics Virginia Summer Games will be the qualifier for the random selection of athletes for these Games. Special Olympics Virginia has a quota for the following genders and sports:
Because the registration deadline for the World Games is September, we will draw one female bocce player and one male individual golfer from the 2009 Fall Championships gold medal winners.
Once drawn in a random selection of gold medal winners from the 2010 Summer Games and 2009 Fall Championships, SOVA staff will call Area Coordinators, coaches and families to insure that the athletes meet the World Games requirements.
Coaches should discuss the World Games quota and draw process with their athletes and the athletes’ parents/guardians prior to Summer Games.
State competitions in equestrian, figure skating and gymnastics will not be offered. Hoofbeats plans to offer an invitational equestrian competition in conjunction with VMI in 2011 and Area 26 plans to offer an invitational gymnastics competition next spring. SOVA staff will work with Areas 2 and 26 to facilitate communication regarding an invitational figure skating competition if either Area would like to conduct a competition.
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 a.m. in downtown Richmond.
For more information and to register go to www.rrrc.org.
Special Olympics Inc. is launching a new fundraising event in honor of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. SOVA will receive residual funds for anyone that indicates on their registration form that they found out about the event through SOVA. We expect that some SOVA 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. More information can be found here.
We've got spirit, yes we do! We've got spirit, how about you?!
Show your spirit by Volunteering to Cheer at the Special Olympics Virginia Summer Games, June 11-12 at the University of Richmond and St. Christopher’s School. More than 1,200 athletes from across the Commonwealth will go for the gold in track & field, powerlifting, swimming, bowling, softball and tennis.
All the details are on our Volunteer to Cheer Web site, and we’d love your help spreading the word! If you’re interested in posters to hang in your office, church or school, please e-mail Holly Claytor.
Join us, and be part of something special.
Gray Miller joined SOVA’s staff as Volunteer Manager in April. Gray processes all Class A Volunteer Forms, sends monthly Class A Volunteer lists to all Area and Local Coordinators, and sends quarterly lists of Class A Volunteers that are about to expire to all Area and Local Coordinators. Contact Gray at anytime if you ever need an updated Class A Volunteer list. Gray can be reached at 804.612.1608 or email@example.com.
Donna Sutton also joined SOVA’s staff in April as the part-time Donor Database Manager. Donna data enters all contributions to SOVA and sends thank you letters and tax letters to donors. Donna’s contact information is 804.726.3030 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2010 Volunteer Conference for Area Coordinators, Area Chairs, Local Coordinators, Volunteer Coordinators, Fundraising Chairs and coaches will be held July 10–11 at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg. Sessions on local program development, volunteer management, fundraising strategies, coaching and other key issues will be featured.
The registration fee will remain at $20. SOVA will pay for one night’s lodging and on-site meals for all registered volunteers. SOVA will pay for housing Friday night and breakfast Saturday morning for volunteers that live four hours or further from Williamsburg.
Registration materials were emailed to all council members and coaches in early May. E-mail Val Reinford or call her at 804.726.3036 if you did not receive a registration brochure. The registration deadline is June 4.
The mission of the GAC is to bring Special Olympics athletes from around the world together to discuss issues important to the movement and to propose new policies for enhancing Special Olympics – on topics ranging from competition management to athletes serving a more prominent leadership role in government relations and fundraising.
Show your support for Special Olympics Virginia by purchasing a specialty SOVA license plate. We need 350 people to complete an application and make a $10 payment for the SOVA license plate to be approved. The $10 payment will be applied towards the cost of the specialty plate the next time you register your vehicle.
Visit the SOVA license plate table near the souvenirs stand at Summer Games on Saturday to complete an application form and submit a $10 check made payable to SOVA.
Project Unify is a relatively new endeavor to foster inclusive school environments through Special Olympics activities. Project Unify is funded by a grant to Special Olympics, Inc. from the U.S. Department of Education.
SOVA received one of the first Project Unify grants in 2008. Funds were used to expand Urban Program activities in the City of Richmond, to introduce Volunteer2Cheer at state events to high school students, and to implement a Little Feet Meet in Henrico County.
The Little Feet Meet had three components : 1) eight Young Athlete motor skills stations for preschool children, 2) athletics demonstration events for children in grades K-2 (25M walk/run, standing long jump and tennis ball throw), and 3) athletics competition for children in grades 3 – 5 (50M walk/run, standing long jump and softball throw). The inaugural event in Henrico County was a huge success! 424 students with developmental/intellectual disabilities from 33 elementary schools participated, over 150 elementary school buddies traveled with the participating students to cheer them on and more than300 high school students ran the event.
We are currently in year two of Project Unify activities. The Little Feet Meet concept was expanded to include events for children in Lynchburg and Roanoke. The Urban Program added several innovative events including Special Olympics service clubs at four high schools, a youth activation committee comprised of students with and without intellectual disabilities and Global Youth Service Day activities. The two Lynchburg high schools launched Spread the Word to End the Word campaigns and collected over 860 pledges to not use the R-word.
SOVA’s grant request for Project Unify year three funding is pending. The plan is to continue the five projects underway and to add projects in Chesterfield, Harrisonburg, Norfolk and the Fredericksburg area.
Learn more about the potential of Project Unify activities in your Area/Local by attending the volunteer conference this summer.
On April 29 bipartisan leaders in both the House and Senate unveiled the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act. This legislation continues the legacy of Mrs. Shriver by reauthorizing the Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act, which has supported persons with intellectual disabilities through health, education and global initiatives. This legislation also includes the Best Buddies Empowerment for People with Intellectual Disabilities Act, originally passed by the House in April 2009, to make grants to the Best Buddies organization to expand its programming. In addition, this legislation authorizes grants to support research, training and technical assistance at universities with expertise in serving people with intellectual disabilities and their families. These grants will help improve their quality of life and ensure opportunities for full participation. Mrs. Shriver, who passed away in August 2009, founded the Special Olympics and was a longtime supporter and board member of Best Buddies.
“Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a tireless advocate for millions of people worldwide with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). “This legislation honors Mrs. Shriver’s legacy and reaffirms Congress’s commitment to ensuring that everyone – including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities – has an opportunity to live full, successful lives.”