Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Kristine Progin

#50for50: Volume 46
▪️ Kristine Progin
▪️ 45 years old
▪️ Lebanon County

“I’ve been with Special Olympics for over 30 years. I was 12 years old. I went to a track and field event in my home town and I’ve been involved ever since. It was just a way to meet new people and keep active. That’s why I do it now, because it keeps me active and I’m still meeting new people. I’m an Athlete Leader and a Global Messenger now. I think it’s really cool to get out there and talk to the community about Special Olympics and let people know what it’s all about. … It was funny, looking back now at Villanova [and Fall Festival], it was funny remembering how it all started ’cause I was there for the first event. It’s funny how it’s changed over the last 30 years. I still have a lot of friends from Lebanon County who, we started Special Olympics together and we’re still great friends. I coach some of them now. … I’ve played a lot of sports over the years, a lot of different sports. It’s funny how our county has grown over the years with just our number of sports we’ve done over the last 30 years, how many we’ve added. I think a lot about the first year that I played softball. That might have even been the year after I first started Special Olympics and that’s a great memory. Just starting out and seeing where I’ve come from there. … I now play volleyball and tennis and, of course, coach floor hockey. My dad had coached for years, so I sort of knew what it was all about. I think that’s why I wanted to coach, because he and my mom had both coached before. You gotta come out and see what it’s all about. I’m always trying to recruit new Unified players for our floor hockey team. I had a young man who came to watch his brother and I told him, ‘You know, we’re going to be losing some people next year, you should come out.’ And he said, ‘Oh, this is too easy.’ Well, by the end of the day he realized it wasn’t as easy as he thought and he thinks he might come out next year to check it out.”

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Special Olympics Pennsylvania

The mission of Special Olympics Pennsylvania is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

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