Saturday, 31 May 2014

Batting 1000!

Recently our 17 and 18 year old children joined Special Olympics.  We didn't know much about this program but in our search for activities to carry into their adult years this one stood out.  Special Olympics is a program for people with an intellectual disability usually determined by an IQ of 70 or below.  The programs offered by Special Olympics do vary depending on demand in different communities.  In our area the programs are for people 12 years and older.  Special Olympics has a wide variety of sports that they offer including swimming, skating, bocce ball, bowling, floor hockey, soccer, softball, etc.

We jumped in with both feet and are playing softball and soccer.  For our daughter this is the first time she has played any sports.  When she was younger her osteoporosis was so extreme it limited all activity, over the years it has improved and she has not broken any bones now for 5 years.  The coaches have been incredible, our daughter arrived completely clueless regarding anything about softball.  We had told her to grab a softball glove to take to practice, so she picked the one she thought was the prettiest looking.  Then on the way to practice she asks her brother "how do you use this?"  I was driving and didn't think much of it as he gave her lessons on how to put it on.  When we arrived at their first practice her abilities seemed worse than usual and as I am watching I realize she has a glove on for a left handed person and she is right handed.  I quietly mention to the coach some of the problem may be that she is "right handed".  After sorting that out the coach had her catching, throwing, and hitting the ball by the end of the evening.  This program is amazing, everyone is included, encouraged, and the coaches have the ability to break the skills way down so the athletes are successful.  

Another thing that I found incredible was the number of teen volunteers that were their helping with practice.  Some of these teens had siblings participating in the program, some were friends of these teens and some didn't have a personal connection to the group but just wanted to help.  One of my teens and a few of her friends also decided they would come out and help at soccer after seeing they required more help. 

Today the softball team was off for a tournament where they played 3 45 minute games throughout the day.  Our daughter was beyond excited as she has never been able to participate in this type of activity as an athlete.  The team traveled by bus with her Dad driving and the rest of our family, that was home, traveled up to watch and cheer the teams on.  Oh and by the way today she was batting 1000!!!!

shared at www.lovethatmax


  1. This sounds so exciting for them! We have been thinking about getting Bethany onto a Special Olympics bowling team!

  2. How great! Thanks for sharing this good news with HDYDI!