South Region Stars
South Region Stars
An Awesome Minnesota Special Olympics Team Since 1991
100 Athletes - 9 Teams - 1 Community
100 Athletes - 9 Teams - 1 Community
Amazing Opportunities
Amazing Opportunities
Even While We Stay At Home

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.


Special Olympics at Home
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ABOUT US


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.

Get Going!

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.

BECOME AN ATHLETE


The South Region Stars welcomes any athlete who fulfills the requirements set by Special Olympics of Minnesota (SOMN) and abides by its code of conduct.  To be eligible, individuals must be eight years of age or older and have an intellectual disability (see eligibility link ).

Athletes must have a completed application on file with Special Olympics of Minnesota before they can participate in any Special Olympics training activities or competitions. Please note that some portions of these forms must be completed and signed by a licensed medical practitioner.

Applications are scrutinized for any missing information and signatures; we encourage to you to watch the Application Process Walkthrough (see link).

LET ME WIN.
BUT IF I CANNOT WIN,
LET ME BE BRAVE IN THE ATTEMPT.

The Olympic Oath

OUR TEAMS


Through sports, our athletes celebrate their abilities, not their disabilities. Special Olympics Minnesota believes that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports. Necessary adaptation ensures we meet the needs of those with intellectual and physical disabilities. All sports have components or events designed to accommodate all ability levels. When competing, athletes are in divisions based on age and ability.
Practice
The Alpine Sports season typically begins in December. Practice is held at Afton Alps, with everyone meeting in the upper level of Paul's at 9:30 am.
Competition
Skiers and snowboarders participate in a qualifying meet and a state tournament. The qualifying meet allows Special Olympics of Minnesota to capture times so that athletes are placed in proper divisions at state. No dates have been announced yet
Options
Beginner: Glide Event Novice: Downhill, Giant Slalom and Slalom Intermediate: Downhill, Giant Slalom and Slalom Advanced: Downhill, Giant Slalom and Slalom
Contact
Rick Vance, Head of Delegation Alpine Ski and Snowboard Team Coach Direct: 763-4521370 Mobile: 952-210-8743 E-Mail: rick.vance@wdpi.com
Register
It is important for athletes to register for participation, whether competing in both the area and state level competitions, or just at the area meet. Don’t forget you also need an up-to-date application with Special Olympics of Minnesota.

Practice
Due to COVID-19 Special Olympics of Minnesota has cancelled the 2020 Summer Games, including all events for track and field, basketball, and swimming.  While we are disappointed that we can’t compete, we understand that this is for our safety.
Competition
There are two competitions: an area meet and a state tournament. Athletes must participate in the area meet to qualify to participate in the state tournament. Dates, times, and locations to be announced.
Options
As basketball is a TEAM SPORT, be aware that once the teams are formed only those players who plan to participate in the scheduled tournaments will be able to participate. This allows the teams to practice together as a “team”, which is essential to competition.  (We do this for all team sports now!)
  • Gold Team: Full Court – very competitive and experienced players
  • Blue Team: Full Court – still competitive, yet at a slower pace.
  • White Team: Full Court – more of a beginning Full Court team.
  • Unified Team: Full Court – non-Special Olympics athletes play alongside full court athletes
  • Half Court (3-on-3) Teams: – not quite ready for Full Court yet.
  • Skills: compete in shooting, passing, and dribbling
Contact
Jamie Lerbs
Register
Remember that you must have an up-to-date application on file with Special Olympics of Minnesota before you will be allowed to practice and compete.  This needs to be updated every three years.  And make sure to check your calendar for conflicts before you register to complete.

What is Bocce?
When bocce was added as a state level Special Olympics sport in Minnesota in 2002, 18 athletes participated.  Today thirty-four Minnesota delegations currently offer athletes the opportunity to train and compete in bocce.   In bocce, athletes roll a bocce ball to get closer to the target ball (called the pallina) than their opponents.
Practice
Begins in late June or early July – Time and Location – TBA
Competition
There are two competitions: an area meet and a state tournament. Athletes must participate in the area meet to qualify to participate in the state competition. Dates, times, and locations to be announced.
Options
Athletes can compete in up to two events:
  • Individuals
  • Doubles (two athletes playing together) *
  • Unified Partners (one athlete and one partner without a disability) *
Contact
Liza Cuchna, Head Coach
Register
Remember that you must have an up-to-date application on file with Special Olympics of Minnesota before you will be allowed to practice and compete.  This needs to be updated every three years.  And make sure to check your calendar for conflicts before you register to complete.

Practice
In the past the team has bowled at Druklas in Inver Grove Heights. Dates and locations for 2020 are still to be determined.
Why
For FUN, of course.  Just come out bowl!  Or to COMPETE—but make sure to note this on your registration form!
Competition
There is one competition - the state competition. Dates and location are to be determined.
Options
  • Singles
  • Singles Ramp
  • Unified Doubles
  • Unified Doubles Ramp
Please note: Athletes can register for both Singles AND Unified Doubles. Athletes who register for Ramp Bowling and need an assistant may have an assistant with them at the lane. When registering, please note if an assistant is needed.
Register
Remember that you must have an up-to-date application on file with Special Olympics of Minnesota before you will be allowed to practice and compete.  This needs to be updated every three years.  And make sure to check your calendar for conflicts before you register to complete.

What is Unified Flag Football
Unified Flag Football is a team sports that combines the skills of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities.  Playing together is a quick path to friendship, understanding, and inclusivity.
Practice
As with all of our sports, time and locations are to be determined due to the coronavirus.
Competitions
Also, to be determined.
Options
Teams will be arranged at practice
  • Athletes who are beginning players or who are still learning, MUST have their staff/parents stay at the field with them throughout the practice for safety reasons.
  • If we do not have enough volunteers/coaches, then parents/staff will be asked to assist with their athlete’s team, so that we have enough help to accommodate everyone who registers.  If we do not get help from parents/staff, we will need to limit the number of participants in FB!
Contact
Marcie Padgett
Register
Remember that you must have an up-to-date application on file with Special Olympics of Minnesota before you will be allowed to practice and compete.  This needs to be updated every three years.  And make sure to check your calendar for conflicts before you register to complete.

Practice
Floor Hockey practice typically begins in October; however, due to coronavirus we may need to limit the season and practice locations. As we know more information, we will post it here.
Competition
There are two competitions in Floor Hockey:  the Area tournament and the State tournament.  These dates are determined by Special Olympics of Minnesota and are yet to be determined.
Options
As floor-hockey is a TEAM SPORT, once the teams are formed only those players who plan to participate in the scheduled tournaments will be able to participate in the softball program. This allows the teams to practice together as a “team”, which is essential to competition. We look forward to another great season of practices and tournaments!
  • GOLD Team: very competitive and experienced players only/Top Division
  • WHITE Team: becoming more competitive yet still improving their skills.
  • BLUE Team: leaning towards recreational play but improving fast!
  • RED Team: beginning players; less competitive; still learning skills and rules
  • (Occasionally we have an option to practice on a separate team; however, it is only available if gym space exists and we have enough coaches.)
Contact
Marcie Padgett
Register
Remember that you must have an up-to-date application on file with Special Olympics of Minnesota before you will be allowed to practice and compete.  This needs to be updated every three years.  And make sure to check your calendar for conflicts before you register to complete.

Practice
Softball practice typically begins in late April or early May; however, due to the coronavirus we may need to limit the season and practice locations. As we learn more,we will post the information here.
Competition
There are two competitions in Softball:  the Area tournament and the State tournament.  These dates are determined by Special Olympics of Minnesota and are yet to be determined.
Options
As softball is a TEAM SPORT, once the teams are formed only those players who plan to participate in the scheduled tournaments will be able to participate in the softball program. This allows the teams to practice together as a “team”, which is essential to competition. We look forward to another great season of practices and tournaments!
  • GOLD Team: very competitive and experienced players (requires an additional $25 fee to cover team play in the Inver Grove Heights Men’s Softball League)
  • WHITE or GREEN Teams: more recreational play, yet still at a good skill level; working on improving skills through playing games
  • BLUE or RED Teams: more learning needed
  • T-BALL Team: beginners only
Contact
Marcie Padgett
Register
Remember that you must have an up-to-date application on file with Special Olympics of Minnesota before you will be allowed to practice and compete. This needs to be updated every three years. And make sure to check your calendar for conflicts before you register to complete.

Our Purpose
The South Region Stars is a competitive team, so we don’t teach athlete’s how to swim; rather we teach them ways to swim faster and more efficiently.  That said, we offer a host of events for those who need assistance in the pool to the more advanced racers.
Practice
Swimming is considered a summer sport, although practices usually begins in March.  At this time we aren’t able to say for certain when swimming will begin and where it will be held.
Competition
As with most of our sports, there are two competitions in swimming – the Area Competition and the State Competition.  Athletes who want to participate at State meet must swim in the Area Competition first.
Options
Swimmers can choose to swim in three individual races and one relay or two individual races and two relays
  • Assisted swims: 15M, 25M, 50M
  • Flotation swims: 15M, 25M
  • Freestyle: 15M, 25M, 50M, 100M, 200M, 400M
  • Backstroke: 25M, 50M, 100M
  • Breaststroke: 25M, 50M, 100M
  • Butterfly: 25M, 50M, 100M
  • Individual Medley: 100M
  • 4 x 25M Relay (four swimmers each swim one lap)
  • 4x25M Unified Relay (four swimmers, two with and two without an intellectual disability)
Contact
Liza Cuchna, Head Coach
Register
Remember that you must have an up-to-date application on file with Special Olympics of Minnesota before you will be allowed to practice and compete.  This needs to be updated every three years.  And make sure to check your calendar for conflicts before you register to compete.

Practice
Through the track-and-field-based athletics training program, participants can develop total fitness to compete in any sport. Practices begin in late April or early May (depending upon the weather); however at this time the season is yet to be determined.
Competitions
There are two track and field competitions: the Area Meet and the State Meet. Athletes must participate in the Area Meet to qualify for state.
Options
Track Events
  • 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 Meter
  • 4 x 100 Traditional and Unified Relays
  • 400, 800 and 1,500 Meter Walks
Field Events
  • High Jump
  • Running Long Jump
  • Shot Put
  • Multi-Event
  • Pentathlon (100 Meters, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, 400 Meters)
Wheelchair Events
  • 10 and 25 Meter Wheelchair
  • 30 Meter Wheelchair Slalom
  • 30 and 50 Meter Motorized Slalom
  • 25 Meter Motorized Wheelchair Obstacle
  • 100 Meter Wheelchair
The following events provide meaningful competition for athletes with lower ability levels:
  • 10 Meter Assisted Walk
  • 25 Meter Assisted Walk-Dash
  • 50 Meter Assisted Walk-Dash
  • Softball and Tennis Ball Throw
  • Standing Long Jump
Contact
Marcie Padgett
Register
Remember that you must have an up-to-date application on file with Special Olympics of Minnesota before you will be allowed to practice and compete.  This needs to be updated every three years.  And make sure to check your calendar for conflicts before you register to complete.

Don't forget that the Special Olympics Minnesota application must be completed (including the physical) and on file at the SOMN office.  Returning athletes - you also need to complete the application in its entirety every three years.  (The SOMN application is not the same as the sport registration form.)

  • 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!

IT’S ABOUT THE PERSON


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.

Celebrating Together

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.

2019 Spirit Awards (names to come)

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.

JOIN US


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.

  • 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.

Volunteers are our backbone – family members, teachers, and those who simply want to change others’ lives and their own.

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.

Each team also requires at least one Level II coach (or more) who is trained to coach that particular sport. Review of an additional online presentation geared to coaching the sport is also required.

Respect

Respect

Unify

Unify

Mentor

Mentor

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CONTACT US