PRIDE - DETERMINATION - JOY
Meet the Team
We are a team of Special Olympics Minnesota, offering those with intellectual disabilities sports training and competition opportunities. Our athletes discover new strengths, skills and success. We know no boundaries.
Check Us Out
Through practice and competitions, our athletes achieve joy and acceptance. We do so by upholding our number one rule – HAVE FUN! And we have plenty of opportunities to do so – fall, winter, spring and summer.
We practice in northern Dakota County (but welcome all). Pick your sports and get going: We offer team and individual sports: Alpine Skiing, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Flag Football, Floor Hockey, Softball, Swimming, and Track and Field.
Four athletes representing the Stars at the USA Games are heading to Orlando this summer. They are Charlie Rea and Andrea Howlett, who will participate in track and John Conway and James Thompson, who will be joining the basketball team. Here they come, Orlando. WE'RE ROOTING FOR YOU!
FOCUSING ON OUR STRENGTHS
In Special Olympics, the power and joy of sport shifts focus to what our athletes CAN do, not what they can’t. As their lives open up, our athletes gain the confidence that comes with achievement. They feel empowered. They are ready to take on new leadership challenges to make use of their new abilities. They can become mentors for other athletes. They can train to become coaches and officials. They can also move toward a more public role as a speaker or spokesperson. They can speak to audiences about the positive changes that Special Olympics helped bring about in their lives. At the end, though, we remain true to our mission: Have Fun. We are proud to be the South Region Stars.
Through sports, our athletes celebrate their abilities, not their disabilities. We believe that people with intellectual disabilities can learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports. Necessary adaptation ensures that all sports have components or events designed to accommodate all ability levels.
Safety is Paramount
Special Olympics Minnesota believes the health and safety of its athletes is paramount. Beyond a sports organization, Special Olympics is a movement for people with intellectual disabilities, who are often at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19. Remember to social distance and please don't come to practice if you are you are sick or have any symptoms of Covid. Participants who are found to have COVID-19 symptoms must wait 7 days after symptoms resolve to return to activity OR must provide written proof of physician clearance.
BECOME AN ATHLETE
Use the link alongside this note to get Special Olympics Minnesota Athlete Application. There you will find more detailed information.It's important to compete the form correctly; otherwise the application will not be accepted. You may find the "Walkthrough" helpful. Here are a few of the biggest issues we see.
- Not signed where signatures are required
- Check-boxes not filled in properly
- Medical forms that are not official. The medical form provided by SOMN is the only form accepted. Information from another form needs to be transferred to the SOMN form and signed by examiner.
- The Waiver and Liability for Communicable Diseases" has not been reviewed and signed.
One question frequently asked is what to do when an insurance company will not cover the examination until a stated time. In this case, the examiner may use the information from one year earlier. Just make sure that the date used is the date of the actual examination as this is what governs when a new application is due.
THE OLYMPIC OATH
LET ME WIN
BUT IF I CANNOT WIN
LET ME BE BRAVE IN THE ATTEMPT
Application Expiration Dates (coming soon)
To see whether you or your athlete needs to update his application, CLICK HERE to be taken to password protected page. If you have not received the password information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, the name of the athlete, and your relationship to the athlete. This list is as of 4-2-22. Please make sure to review the sidebar for important information.
When athletes reach the age of 18, the third page of the application must be resigned, this time noting the legal guardian - the athlete or another appointed person.
The COVID Waiver is an online presentation that must be reviewed by athletes, coaches, and volunteers. It is electronically signed to verify that this has been completed. If the COVID line is blank, this has not been done, yet.
It bears worth repeating: A deadline to participate in a particular sport is the date by which the team needs the updated application and medical form turned into Special Olympics Minnesota, allowing the coach to register the athlete for participation. This is usually a week before but no later than the first practice.
Medical Expires Explanation
- The Medical Form provides the application expiration date. It is valid for 3 years from the date of the examination OR prior to any relevant deadline.
- A relevant deadline is the date by which the team needs the updated application and medical form actually turned into Special Olympics Minnesota, allowing the coach to register the athlete for participation.
- In other words, if an athlete plans to participate in a seasonal sport during which time the application will expire, the application needs to be updated at a minimum by the first practice or earlier if needed by the coach.
- For a returning athlete, the application consists of pages one and two of the application, both completed in their entirety and signed and dated in the relevant locations.
Special Olympics Minnesota offers alpine skiing events from novice to advanced levels, as well as the glide event for lower ability level athletes to train and compete in basic alpine skiing skills. The development of these basic skills are necessary prior to advancing to other competitive events. Alpine Sports will be back in November or December of 2022. See you then!
Flag football is offered as a Unified Sport, which means individuals with and without disabilities play on the same team. Practice begins in the fall. See you then!
Track and Field
Unified Flag Football
- We're sorry we can't offer more information about our seasons. The health and safety of our athletes, coaches, volunteers and entire community are our top priority.
- Athletes who are just beginning, require one-on-one assistance or may have behavioral issues must be accompanied by a responsible person who can assist as necessary.
- Team Play: Only players who plan to participate at area and state will be assigned to a team. This allows teams to practice together, an essential component of play.
- If we don’t have enough volunteers to help coach and assist with a sport, we may need to ask for help. Otherwise, not everyone will be able to participate. Please say yes!
Our athletes are eligible to also participate in the many opportunities offered by Special Olympics Minnesota.
The Leaders University gives athletes the chance to become a leader both within and outside of Special Olympics. Typically held in a University setting, participants are able choose from several courses such as “Athletes as Coaches,” “Civic Engagement,” and "Global Messenger."
Healthy Athletes events provide a variety of services conducted by healthcare professionals and students in a welcoming, fun environment. Offered during state competitions, athletes may find themselves in a dentist’s chair, looking at eye charts, having their hearing screened or being fitted for new shoes and glasses.
SOfit is a health promotion program aimed at improving and protecting health and wellness for people with and without intellectual disabilities. Fit5 is a program that’s easy to integrate into ones' busy schedule or a team’s practice schedule.
We’re proud of our team, both for skill and sportsmanship. Each year we recognize our athletes and volunteers with awards reflecting our respect and appreciation. Due to COVID, we haven't distributed awards recently.
John Sullivan Award: to those whose actions demonstrate the true meaning of Good Sport.
Kathy Wells Award: to those who exemplify if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
Hank Halvorson Award: to families and individuals who exemplify the spirit of Hank by assisting with fundraising efforts extraordinaire.
Hank Goers Award: to the families, parents, or staff who demonstrate extraordinary kindness by being there for any athlete or any effort requiring assistance.
SUSTAIN THE TEAM - VOLUNTEER
Our volunteers are all ages, and their commitments can range from an afternoon to years of coaching. In fact, our team would not exist today without the time, energy, commitment, and enthusiasm of our volunteers - family members, teachers, and those who simply want to change others’ lives and their own.
- Behind the Scene volunteers ensure athletes’ applications are current; plan fundraisers and social events, update the website and email communications, and time and measure athletes.
- Coaches work with Special Olympics athletes to prepare them for competition and teach them the necessary skills to compete at their highest levels. Most of our team have two or more coaches.
- A rapidly expanding program of Special Olympics is Unified Sports® -- and for good reason. Unified Sports combine athletes with and without disabilities on teams that train and compete together, promoting friendship, understanding, and inclusiveness.
Level I Training
Any person who has regular contact with our athletes is required to complete a Level I training process before working with them: complete a volunteer application, permit a background check and review an online presentation that covers a general orientation, protective behaviors, and concussions.
Level II Training
Each team also requires at least one Level II coach, who is trained to coach that particular sport. Review of an additional online presentation geared to coaching the sport is also required.
To view by a particular sport, simply use the category dropdown feature below.