Inclusive Health Spotlight: SO FUNfitness

FUNfitness was developed in collaboration with the American Physical Therapy Association and provides athletes the opportunity to be screened for flexibility, functional strength, and balance. The screenings are provided by physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, or physical therapy students.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania developed a unique partnership with American Physical Therapy Association- Pennsylvania to provide volunteers for the FUNfitness events.ย 

Special Olympics Pennsylvania also partners with universities to provide student volunteers for FUNfitness events.

This experience provides opportunities for physical therapy students to interact with athletes with intellectual disabilities while also gaining experience in the screening process.

Research shows that over 80 percent of healthcare providers are not professionally trained to treat people with intellectual disabilities.ย  By partnering with Universities, we are directly addressing this issue and providing students with this training and experiences.

We caught up with Natalie Albright, a former student (who is now a PT working with children with intellectual disabilities), to see what she had to say about FUNfitness! Check it out:

Participating in this event made me realize that I may be seriously interested in working with individuals with intellectual disabilities one day.ย  This was something that I had only briefly considered previously because I was never sure if I would be able to do it.ย 

Overall, it was really awesome to get to be a part of something bigger than myself and to see how much the Special Olympics clearly means to all those involved

I feel as though I was able to learn a lot through experiencing new situations firsthand (which is my favorite, most effective way to learn), while also helping a fantastic organization.ย  I appreciate any opportunity to apply what we have been learning about in our classes to real-life situations because it serves as reassurance that all the lectures we sit through really do matter and will benefit us in our careers. I regret never getting involved with the Special Olympics before this point, but I am grateful to have had the chance to get involved now and I hope to return to volunteer in the future.

Natalie Albright

If you’d like to learn more about #InclusiveHealth and FUNfitness, please visit www.specialolympicspa.org/health-programs.

Celebrating Sue Paterno

Thirty years ago, Sue Paterno joined the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Board of Directors!

We are honored to have Sueโ€™s ongoing commitment, leadership, and advocacy for Special Olympics Pennsylvania and our athletes.

Whether through supporting the Beaver Stadium Run, Summer Games or many of our other statewide events and competitions, Sue is still as determined as ever to make a lasting impact!

Happy Anniversary, Sue. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you’ve done to support people with intellectual disabilities in our beautiful commonwealth!

Announcing the 2020 Virtual Summer Games

We are SO EXCITED to announce the 2020 Virtual Summer Games! This event will offer the opportunity for all of us to come together, capture the spirit of our athletes and volunteers, and share a unique experience even though we can’t physically be in Happy Valley!

Virtual Summer Games is open to EVERY registered athlete and is a safe way for everyone to compete against their friends and peers from across the state. After our athletes have trained and competed from home, we will all come together virtually to celebrate through a series of virtual events taking place on Facebook, YouTube, Zoom, and our website from June, 12 โ€“ 14, 2020.

For all the details, please visit our official Virtual Summer Games website: https://specialolympicspa.org/virtual-summer-games

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS!

๐Ÿญ) ๐—–๐—›๐—ข๐—ข๐—ฆ๐—˜ ๐—ฌ๐—ข๐—จ๐—ฅ ๐—–๐—›๐—”๐—Ÿ๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐—ก๐—š๐—˜๐—ฆ โžก๏ธ bit.ly/2020VSGSports
Check out all of the offered challenges and train at home. There are challenges in each of the eight Summer Games sports that we typically offer: Athletics, Basketball, Equestrian, Golf, Gymnastics, Softball, Swimming & Tennis!

๐Ÿฎ) ๐—ง๐—ฅ๐—”๐—œ๐—ก ๐—™๐—ข๐—ฅ ๐—ฌ๐—ข๐—จ๐—ฅ ๐—–๐—›๐—”๐—Ÿ๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐—ก๐—š๐—˜๐—ฆ โžก๏ธ
You can train and submit your scores for up to three (3) events. Keep track of your scores as you go. You have until Sunday, May 31, 2020 to train and submit your results.

๐Ÿฏ) ๐—ฆ๐—จ๐—•๐— ๐—œ๐—ง ๐—ฌ๐—ข๐—จ๐—ฅ ๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—ฆ๐—จ๐—Ÿ๐—ง๐—ฆ โžก๏ธ bit.ly/2020VSGResults
Train for all of your events first and keep track of your scores as you go. Fill out the form above you are done training and submit your best event scores. You can also submit a video of yourself practicing or a recording of an encouraging message to share [VIDEO SUBMISSION LINK โžก๏ธ bit.ly/2020VSGVideos]! All qualifying scores are due by Sunday, May 31, 2020.

Be sure to share all of your training and progress with us using the hashtags #VirtualSummerGames and #WeAreSOPA!

For even more details, check out this comprehensive webinar which will answer all your questions! bit.ly/2WP0qN1

Winter Games Press Recap

We were so lucky to have a huge media presence at the 2020 Winter Games at Seven Springs! We gathered all the links, stories and moments from the interwebs and collected them all here so you can see what the Games looked like through the media’s eyes.

From WTAJ: 43rd annual Special Olympics Winter Games kick-off at Seven Springs

From WJAC: Snowboarding added to Special Olympics PA Winter Games

From WTAE: Special Olympics PA Winter Games Opening Ceremonies held Sunday night

From The Tribune Democrat: Athletes from across the state chase medals, have fun at Winter Games

From The Pittsburgh Tribune: Editorial: Special Olympics are exceptional

From The Daily American: Somerset Delegate lights special olympics torch

From WJAC: Special Olympics PA Winter Games opening ceremonies