By Chris Jones
The fall sports season for Special Olympics Southern California is quickly approaching. As the Bowling Championship concluded in epic fashion, we expect more exhilarating and inclusion-oriented play from SOSC athletes.
Fall season will consist of five sports: golf, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. With over thousands of athletes throughout Southern California looking to compete this fall, we are still in need of volunteer coaches, including head coaches, assistant coaches and sports volunteers.
“A new season of Fall Sports is quickly approaching and our athletes are ready to make their mark in the record books,” says Special Olympics Southern California President and CEO Bill Shumard. “We must remember the critical role our volunteers play in the successes of our athletes. Without their ongoing support, we would not be able to accomplish the goals we set forth to support SOSC athletes.”
Head coaches are volunteers who seek to lead a team of athletes through training and competition. They will assist with recruitment of athletes, coaches and team volunteers. They will also create, organize and conduct a comprehensive sports training program. SOSC will provide sports training through our coaches’ education program for individuals interested in these positions. Head coaches will be appointed by the region/area.
The assistant coaching positions are for those who want to assist head coaches with all of their program training’s. Assistant coaches are preferred to have knowledge and/or coaching experience in the sport they are coaching. SOSC will provide sports training through our coaches’ educations program for individuals interested in these positions.
Team volunteers are for individuals that will assist head and assistant coaches with sports and non-sports training activities. Team volunteers do not serve in any coaching capacity or provide sports training instructions to athletes.
“It gives me so much satisfaction to see these athletes grow,” says Grace True, volunteer for Special Olympics Southern California. “Knowing that I play a role in helping them achieve these milestones makes it even better. They’re not just athletes, but are also amazing people. That’s why I stay involved.”
Look for a volunteer coach quote on We Are SOSC to add here about the benefits of volunteering or the joy they get from it.
To become a sports volunteer, please visit sosc.org/volunteer.
Here’s an inside look at the sports offered this fall:
Like most golfers, Special Olympics athletes are driven by the opportunity to compete. Program planning is designed to develop individual golf skills that enhance performance, allowing the athlete to achieve success in playing the game. The Special Olympics Golf program is centered on two educational phases designed to encompass all skill levels: learning to swing a golf club and learning to play the game. Athletes may participate in Skills, 9-hole stroke play or 18-hole stroke play. For more information on golf, please visit sosc.org.
Soccer is considered the world’s most popular sport for children and adults around the world. Similarly, it is one of the most popular sports for Special Olympics athletes. Athletes are able to improve their overall physical fitness through training and competition. In addition to offering traditional soccer, Special Olympics Soccer offers individual skills competition to allow athletes to train and compete in basic soccer skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to team competition. For more information on soccer, please visit sosc.org.
Softball is an exciting team sport in Special Olympics. Athletes play slow-pitch softball, which involves two teams of 10 athletes each. Special Olympics offers individual skills competition to allow athletes to train and compete in basic softball skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to team competition. These skills include base running, fielding and throwing. For more information on softball, please visit sosc.org.
Like mainstream tennis, Special Olympics Tennis gives athletes the opportunity to learn and perform a variety of skills that can be played throughout life. In addition to offering traditional singles and doubles events, Special Olympics offers individual skills competition to allow athletes to train and compete in basic tennis skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to match play. For more information on tennis, please visit sosc.org.
Athletes participating in Special Olympics Volleyball benefit from the camaraderie that comes from competing in a team sport, as well as the training that enables them to successfully serve and return a volleyball. Special Olympics Volleyball also offers individual skills competition to allow athletes to train and compete in basic volleyball skills. For more information on volleyball, please visit sosc.org.
ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of athletes with intellectual disabilities through sports, health, and leadership programs. Special Olympics helps athletes become more independent, build self-esteem, and live healthier lives. They inspire people to open their hearts and create more accepting and inclusive communities. All Special Olympics programs are free to the athletes and their families. Learn more at www.sosc.org.