Special Olympics Oregon

The mission of Special Olympics Oregon is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
May 12, 2016

Summer Season Has Begun!

Cameron
Cameron

Special Olympics Oregon participants from all over the state have begun training hard for the upcoming regional competitions in June and Summer State Games, proudly supported by A-dec, in July. Athletes compete in athletics (track & field), bocce, golf, and softball.

With the help of our supporters and donors, Special Olympics Oregon now serves 13,000 participants year round through life-changing opportunities. Our programs provide opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to feel respected, included, and empowered to be the best they can be. 

This month we have highlighted one of our amazing athletes, Cameron, who has grown tremendously throughout his two years with Special Olympics Oregon.

Cameron first got involved in Special Olympics Oregon two years ago during his freshman year at Bend High School when he participated in their Unified Sports program. He participates year round in Unified soccer, Unified basketball and Unified softball.

When Cameron began he was very enthusiastic about sports, but had some growing to do in learning to be a team player.  Since then his teachers and coaches say that Cameron’s growth has been outstanding.  “When we see him at practice or on the playing field he is encouraging other players, participating in practices, and supporting his team,” said Robert, Life Skills Teacher and Unified Sports Coach at Bend Senior High School.

The leadership and compassion that Cameron exhibits to his teammates is admirable.  At the Unified Basketball tournament that his team recently competed at, one of the players was very upset about missing several baskets.  Cameron took the time to go and encourage the other player to the point that the other player continued to play.

“Cameron has come a long way from the freshman who had difficulty being a team player, to now being a tremendous asset to our teams,” said Coach Tadjiki.

We are inspired and proud to have Cameron as a Special Olympics Oregon athlete, and we thank those who support our mission and helping individuals like Cameron succeed on and off the field. 

Feb 16, 2016

First Ever High School Unified Basketball League Comes to Oregon

While your donations help support Special Olympics Oregon's year round sports training and competitions, it is also a vital factor in our ability to expand our Unified Sports program, where individuals with and without intellectual disabilities play on the same team.

Special Olympics Oregon Unified Sports is changing the culture in Oregon schools. By joining people with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team, stereotypes about people who have an intellectual disability disappear, understanding grows and friendships are made. As a result, schools are becoming more accepting, inclusive and respect is being shown to those with intellectual disabilities.

Now, for the first time ever, a High School Unified Basketball league has been created. There are 39 games on the schedule in the Portland-metro area this season and it has already provided participants and spectators alike with amazing experiences!

Athletic Directors from schools around Oregon are treating their Unified basketball teams just like their Varsity and Junior Varsity teams by incorporating the games into the season's schedule, providing similar uniforms as other teams and providing newly trained coaches. Games are also planned with cheerleaders, a game announcer and a student cheering section that is full of enthusiasm.

"Our first night of Unified Basketball games was incredibly successful. Parents came up to me after the game and were so appreciative that their child got to be part of a school team. They never envisioned that their child would wear the same high school uniform as an older brother or sister," said Jean Hansen, Director of Youth Outreach for Special Olympics Oregon.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend one of these Unified Basketball games you need to. If you don’t want to take our word for it, then here are some quotes from a couple of people who recently attended a game for the first time:

"To ALL - If there's ever a chance to see one of these games even if you know no-one on either team - GO! Just watching the peer mentors help these kids - and all the celebrations after making a basket - it's a win/win all around! The fans cheering for both teams, the refs even high-fiving the kids. It made my week!”

"It was one of the best things I've ever seen. To see the band, cheer, students and staff get so spirited and support the efforts of these kids was so awesome… it made my week.”

Feb 16, 2016

First Ever High School Unified Basketball League Comes to Oregon

While your donations help support Special Olympics Oregon's year round sports training and competitions, it is also a vital factor in our ability to expand our Unified Sports program, where individuals with and without intellectual disabilities play on the same team.

Special Olympics Oregon Unified Sports is changing the culture in Oregon schools. By joining people with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team, stereotypes about people who have an intellectual disability disappear, understanding grows and friendships are made. As a result, schools are becoming more accepting, inclusive and respect is being shown to those with intellectual disabilities.

Now, for the first time ever, a High School Unified Basketball league has been created. There are 39 games on the schedule in the Portland-metro area this season and it has already provided participants and spectators alike with amazing experiences!

Athletic Directors from schools around Oregon are treating their Unified basketball teams just like their Varsity and Junior Varsity teams by incorporating the games into the season's schedule, providing similar uniforms as other teams and providing newly trained coaches. Games are also planned with cheerleaders, a game announcer and a student cheering section that is full of enthusiasm.

"Our first night of Unified Basketball games was incredibly successful. Parents came up to me after the game and were so appreciative that their child got to be part of a school team. They never envisioned that their child would wear the same high school uniform as an older brother or sister," said Jean Hansen, Director of Youth Outreach for Special Olympics Oregon.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend one of these Unified Basketball games you need to. If you don’t want to take our word for it, then here are some quotes from a couple of people who recently attended a game for the first time:

"To ALL - If there's ever a chance to see one of these games even if you know no-one on either team - GO! Just watching the peer mentors help these kids - and all the celebrations after making a basket - it's a win/win all around! The fans cheering for both teams, the refs even high-fiving the kids. It made my week!”

"It was one of the best things I've ever seen. To see the band, cheer, students and staff get so spirited and support the efforts of these kids was so awesome… it made my week.”

 
   

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