“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” – Special Olympics Oath
Originating on the East Coast in the 1960s through the efforts of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics organization now exists in several states throughout the country. The Special Olympics Northern California (http://www.sonc.org/) began in 1995 and covers Northern California counties from the Oregon border to Monterey and Tulare.
This organization has always encouraged children and adults with intellectual disabilities to participate in healthy sportsmanship while also inspiring confidence in their abilities.
One of the SONC’s most successful programs is the School Partnership Program. Besides offering valuable volunteer opportunities, this free program allows special education students to participate in sports training, culminating in county sporting events days (which include soccer, basketball and track activities). Families and friends are encouraged to come out to these sports events to cheer the kids on.
If your child’s school has not yet become involved with this program, you can learn more by visiting the Special Olympics Northern California website or contact Cathy Domanski-DeVries (school programs director and VP of Youth Services) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Soccer image courtesy of basketman from freedigitalphotos.net