by Laura Mayo
Special Olympics Santa Clarita has more than 1,151 athletes who train and compete both locally and globally. The organization’s newest program is Young Athletes, an inclusive sports play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities. The program focuses on active games, songs, and other activities that help develop motor, social, and cognitive skills for ages 2-7.
The non-profit organization offers 11 sports for individuals with intellectual disabilities aged 8-80. Participants can receive training in the following sports: athletics (track), basketball, bocce, bowling, floor hockey, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, and tennis. Special Olympics hosts local competitions in golf, swimming, athletics, bocce and basketball, bowling, and softball, and the organization always needs more coaches and volunteers to help throughout the year. The non-profit’s largest competition is the Spring Regional Games, held this year on Saturday, May 20 at Newhall Park, Hart High School, Placerita Middle School and West Ranch High School.
Special Olympics enriches the lives of more than 28,505 athletes with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, leadership, and health programs. Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California provides free sports training and competitions every day and in every community. Through the power of these opportunities, people with intellectual disabilities become more independent, build self-esteem, and live healthier lives. Also, Special Olympics offers more than sports — it is the largest healthcare provider to individuals with intellectual disabilities.
The athletes become stars on and off the sports field. They inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential. This changes attitudes, changes lives, and creates more accepting and inclusive communities. Special Olympics Southern California has earned a 4-star ranking from Charity Navigator for exceeding industry standards. This ranking is the highest Charity Navigator offers to an organization and is given because Special Olympics has demonstrated strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency. Learn how you can get involved at www.sosc.org/scvtv.