It’s still early at Higgs Beach in Key West, Florida as people begin to arrive. Volunteers are busy unloading boards and setting up tables and buoys for the stand-up paddle (SUP) board course. The sun is out and it’s perfect Florida Keys weather for a SUP race.
Last fall, that bright sunrise had given way to balmy weather with enough wind to create a light chop. But those few waves didn’t deter the nearly 100 Special Olympics athletes who were eager and laughing on the beach – their enthusiasm bubbling over, they’re prepped by their certified coaches who help them read the water.
At Special Olympics, while athletes are the heart of our organization our volunteers are its backbone. Each competition requires a host of responsibilities including our annual State Summer Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports where more than 4,000 volunteers dedicate their weekend to make our games a success. One of those volunteers, Skylar, shares his experiences as a volunteer and spectator during this busy competition.
The 2014 Special Olympics Florida Summer Games was truly an inspiring and fulfilling experience as more than 1,800 athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities competed for a chance to take home the gold in their respected competitions. Read More
Incorporating physical activity into young children’s lives is the key to creating a foundation of movement and activity that they will carry with them into their futures. Physical activity is essential for children with and without special needs alike as it promotes a healthy lifestyle, but can benefit children with autism in extraordinary ways. Read More
At Special Olympics Florida, our athletes train and compete 365 days a year to become their best. And in less than 100 days, more than 180 delegates from Florida will see their hard work pay off as they travel to compete at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey, an event that will host 3,500 athletes from around the nation. Read More
The following is a guest post from Barbara Palmer, Executive Director for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
Every March, representatives from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) and other stakeholders head to the Capitol for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day (DD Day) to advocate for our customers. We encourage our customers to advocate for themselves by meeting with legislators, too. DD Day is important because we get individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, and stakeholders to rally together and talk about legislative issues that affect their lives. Read More
March is a significant month for the Special Olympics movement. During March, we participate in the R-Word Campaign (March 5th) as well as Capitol Hill Day (March 12th) – two important events that come together and create a nation-wide platform for our collective voices.
Raising awareness for people-first language has always been a priority for Special Olympics Florida. That’s because Special Olympics is more than just sports. With a focus on physical, social and emotional development through sports, wellness and leadership training, Special Olympics Florida is part of a global movement dedicated to bringing tolerance and acceptance that will unify the world. Read More
The following is a guest post from Karlyn Emile, Director of the Special Olympics Florida Healthy Community location in South Florida.
Healthy Community is a premier health care delivery approach that focuses on the whole person with an intellectual or developmental disability. At Special Olympics Florida and Healthy Community, we believe that good health is necessary for these individuals to secure the freedom to work, learn, and better engage with their families and communities. For these reasons, Special Olympics Florida compiled specific goals and objectives to ensure the success of the newly launched Healthy Community in Hollywood, FL after it opened its doors for the first time in February 2013. Those goals include the following: Read More