A new year brings new experiences, and 2018 will have a few in store for Special Olympics Southern California’s athletes and supporters.
So here are a few events to put on your calendar:
Celebrating a half-century!
Special Olympics turns 50 this year! Stay tuned to this site and our social media channels as we celebrate the movement throughout the year.
There’s plenty more beyond just the annual Summer and Fall Games to get excited about this year. If you haven’t already heard, Special Olympics Southern California has a new sports plan starting in 2018.
February – Flag football kicks off
During the spring season, athletes will train and compete locally in flag football’s first year as a demonstration sport. With the help of the Los Angeles Rams, athletes across the regions got a taste of the sport last fall. By 2019, flag football will be an official sport, and athletes will be eligible to compete at regional, Southern California, USA Games and World Games competitions.
March – Floor hockey grabs the spotlight
The change actually took place in November, when floor hockey started as its own season. This allowed for more athletes to participate and still compete in another sport in the traditional spring season.
The floor hockey championship will hit the RINKS in Huntington Beach on March 11 to close out the season. Volunteer registration opens January 15.
July – All eyes on Seattle
More than 70 athletes and a pair of unified high school teams will compete from July 1-6 at the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle.
The Special Olympics Southern California contingent will compete in basketball, bocce, golf, softball, swimming, tennis, and track and field. The group will also include Lompoc High School and Southwest High School competing in unified sports.
Even if you can’t make it to Seattle, you can watch the action on ESPN as part of the network’s $1.5 million grant and three-year global programming agreement with Special Olympics.
Start reading about some of the Southern California athletes competing at the Games.
— 2018 USA Games (@2018USAGames) January 1, 2018
June through August – Phase 2 of the new sports plan
More sports seasons will get shuffled as bowling starts in June. The sport will host its championship in August.
Meanwhile, golf moves into the fall season, joining soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. On the soccer field, the competition will move to 7-on-7 action.
October – S! O! S! C!
Cheerleading makes its Special Olympics Southern California debut, giving us 13 sports. Like flag football, the sport will open as a demonstration through camps and clinics before moving to an official competition in 2019.
Of course, there are also the signature events that help enrich the lives of more than 32,250 athletes in Southern California.
Everything from Tip-A-Cops around the regions to Breakfast With Champions to Pier del Sol, and more, will be back. For the adrenaline junkies and runners who support the cause, Plane Pull and We Run the City will sure be marked on the calendar.
Still looking for a New Year’s Resolution?
Countless volunteers have noted the fulfillment they get in attending and helping out at Special Olympics Southern California events.
Inside the SOSC is a blog written by staff member Tracy McDannald. It is a more feature-style approach to looking inside what makes Special Olympics Southern California so unique, so special. It is meant to explore the people and their stories. One word at a time.