Pickerington currently has over 50 athletes competing in seven different sports. The sports that we offer may vary depending on availability of coaches. Currently, we offer swimming, team bowling, team basketball, volleyball, bowling, softball, and track & field. The seasons are approximately 6-10 weeks long and practice days and times will be sport specific.
Benefits...Special Olympics contributes to the physical, social, and psychological development of the athletes. Through successful experiences in sports, they gain confidence and build a positive self-image which carries over into the classroom, home, job and community.
Our program emphasizes what people with disabilities CAN DO. Athletes with intellectual disabilities who participate in Special Olympics develop improved physical fitness and motor skills, greater self-confidence, and a more positive self-image. They grow mentally, socially and spiritually and, through their activities, exhibit boundless courage and enthusiasm, enjoy the rewards of friendship and ultimately discover not only new abilities and talents but “their voices” as well.
History...The concept of Special Olympics began in the early 1960's when Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a day camp for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The first national meet was held at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1968 for 1,000 athletes from the United States and Canada. Shortly thereafter, Ohio began a Special Olympics program under the name of the Ohio Athletic Association. Special Olympics Ohio became incorporated in 1975. Today, there are Special Olympics programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 150 different countries around the world.
Participants...Special Olympics Ohio has approximately 200 local member organizations and over 23,000 athletes who are in training and competition. These organizations orginate from County Boards of MR/DD, public schools, developmental centers, parks and recreation departments, churches and parent and community groups.
Eligibility...Athletes must be at least eight years of age and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disability, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or have required special instruction.