May 8, 2015

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SONA Coach of the Year Finalist 


The Special Olympics North America (SONA) Coach of the Year Award was established in the late 1980's and is given annually to an active, certified Special Olympics coach. The coach must meet several criteria, including making a significant and demonstrable impact on Local Programs and their communities. There are 120,000 Special Olympics coaches in North America providing instruction for competition in more than 32 sports. Fifteen individuals representing the United States and Canada were named 2014 Coach of the Year finalists. One of the fifteen finalists was our very own Missie Rodriguez from Canaan!  


 Missie is an exemplary coach, a leader and a dedicated volunteer who serves as a role model to her athletes as well as her fellow coaches.  She has been involved with Special Olympics for 19 years. It is her passion. She is filled with boundless energy and you can see this as "Coach Missie" interacts with her athletes. Missie, along with being a coach, is the Local Program Coordinator for the Upper Valley Hawks. Missie strives to engage her athletes in fundraising, volunteerism, and social activities in her town. She believes in her athletes and helps them to accomplish their goals. Missie leads by power of example. She recently participated in her 15th Penguin Plunge and she encourages the students at Hanover High School, where she teaches, to participate as well. Missie is a general and adaptive physical education teacher.     


Richard Mosenthal, father of Special Olympics athlete Walter Mosenthal, will tell you that Missie has changed his son's life. "She has guided Walter in a direction that that has enabled him to try new things and he has excelled," Richard said. Walter was elected captain of the varsity cross-country team. "This would have never happened without Missie." Walter said, "She always makes it fun for her athlete's. She has touched the life of our son and our lives as well."


Please join us in congratulating Missie for being chosen as a SONA 2014 Coach of the Year Finalist!



Join us at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Friday June 5th to Sunday June 7th for a weekend of sports and fun.

  • Bocce divisioning round & competition (9am to 5pm)
  • Powerlifting competition (1:30pm to 3:30pm)
  • Opening Ceremonies (begin at 7:30 pm)
  • Athletics competition (7:30am to 4:30pm)
  • Aquatics competition (9am to 4:30pm)
  • Bocce competition (9am to 4:30pm)
  • Law Enforcement Static Display (10am to 2pm)
  • Healthy Athletes Exams (10am to 3pm)
  • Athlete Input Council (6pm to 7pm)
  • Dance and/or Movie (7pm to 8:30pm)
  • Athletics competition (7:30am to 6pm)
  • Equestrian competition (9am to 6pm)
  • Aquatics competition (9am to 6pm)

For more information, please click here




The Unified Relay Across America is coming to New Hampshire May 27 - May 28, 2015! Over the course of 46 days, in a hand-to-hand exchange, thousands of people throughout the nation will carry the Special Olympics Flame of Hope across the country to bring unprecedented awareness to the Special Olympics movement - and we want you to be one of them! We invite you to join the relay and help to deliver the torch to Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

The torch will pass through 51.5 miles of New Hampshire. Relay legs will begin on Wednesday, May 27th at 12pm in Tilton and continue through the communities of Franklin, Boscawen and into downtown Concord culminating with a celebration at the State House at 5pm. All are invited to take part in this celebration! On Thursday, May 28th at 7am the relay will continue with the final relay legs from Concord to Bow, Hooksett and Manchester.

Segments are limited, so sign up today! Individuals and teams of up to 15 can sign up to participate and request a desired ½ mile run, walk or roll segment or a 5 mile bike segment. Every step will be taken to accommodate individual and team segment requests. Segment locations will be released two weeks prior to the event.

Registration is FREE! Visit, select New Hampshire from the list of states and use the promo code "MM" to get started. Team captains are encouraged to register first in order to set up their team pages. Once created, additional team members can then register. Information packets with detailed instructions will be sent to individuals and team captains no less than two weeks before the run date.

Each participant must raise $100 by May 13th in order to join the relay. Torchbearers will also have the opportunity to keep the torch they ran with by meeting certain fundraising goals. Funds raised from the Unified Relay will go to Special Olympics to provide sports training, competition opportunities and additional programming that empowers people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. To learn more, visit or email 



Written by: Kathleen Blanchette, Paraprofessional at Manchester Memorial High School

I attended the Unified basketball game on Monday, February 16 at Memorial High School's Bronstein Gymnasium.  As a paraprofessional in the Special Education Department at Memorial, I work closely with most of the students that participate in basketball and I see their excitement on game days.  The students were particularly excited for the game against their cross city rivals, Central. 

Knowing the students' excitement about the games, I worked closely with Coach Rozamus and the varsity cheerleading coach at Memorial, Ms. Guay to coordinate the cheerleaders coming to the Central game, as this was supposed to be the final game for the team.  The cheerleaders and Ms. Guay were more than happy to come and do some cheers before the game and at halftime.
As the game began and the cheerleaders participated through their supportive cheers, it was very special to see the students reactions, and you could tell that many of the students really felt like they were part of the fabric of the school, and they responded accordingly.  The energy in the gym was very exciting, and the students seemed to really enjoy the support of the cheerleaders, as well as other teachers from Memorial that had attended the game. 

At the end of the game, both the Central and Memorial teams took team photos, and then both teams took a photo together with the cheerleaders.  The positivity and the sportsmanship that both teams showed was commendable.  Although they had both just played a competitive game, they acted as if they were old friends at the conclusion.  It was a great sight to behold.
I look forward to attending future unified basketball games.  Seeing how excited the students get when they make a basket or an important play really shows how important this program is to helping students feel like part of their school.



The 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run will run through New Hampshire from May 16th through June 5th! The torch will be lit in Northern New Hampshire and travel down throughout the state leading up to The SONH State Summer Games! 2015 marks the 31st year of partnership between Law Enforcement and Special Olympics New Hampshire. Every branch of state, municipal, county and federal Law Enforcement and friends of law enforcement are invited to participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run. We encourage you to make the decision today to take part in this community event. The Torch Run's "Flame of Hope" will travel over 800 miles in various legs throughout New Hampshire, serving as the movement's largest grass roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle.

The "Flame of Hope" will visit our state capital on Thursday, June 4th for the State House Celebration at 2:00 pm to honor the SONH athletes participating in Summer Games as well as to celebrate the two athletes who will represent New Hampshire in the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles, CA July 25th - August 2nd. The celebration is open to the public and runners are encouraged to take part!

The final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run covers a span of 33 miles from Concord to Durham. The run will kick off at the State House in Concord in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, June 5th and culminate at the Opening Ceremonies of the State Summer Games at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

There are a number of volunteer opportunities available at both Summer Games and other area competitions. Receiving a medal can be one of the most special moments in an athlete's career, and it is an added thrill to be awarded that medal by a member of the Law Enforcement community. Please visit to see a list of competitions.

If you are interested in taking part in the 2015 Torch Run, specific leg information can be found on the SONH website, or by contacting Courtney Brooks at (603) 624-1250 x33 or If you have never participated before, we encourage you to get involved and join a leg this year. The athletes of Special Olympics New Hampshire deserve your support. Together we can make the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run the most successful ever!

A special thank you to our 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run sponsors: Circle-K, Irving, Planet Fitness, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England, Law Enforcement for Special Olympics and New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police.





The State Summer Games are right around the corner and we need your help!  We are looking for volunteers on Friday, June 5th to Sunday, June 7th.  


Please contact Mike Gardner at for additional information and to sign up. 



One-Day Global Messenger Training 


On Saturday, May 2 we held an Athlete Leadership Program One-Day Global Messenger Training at the Alexander-Carr Lodge in, Derry. Twenty-five Special Olympics athletes, mentors, and facilitators participated in the day long training.

Global Messengers are athletes trained for a more public role as a speaker or spokesperson for our organization. Trained Global Messengers can become storytellers for Reveal the Champion and Champions Together Breakfast events.

Next Global Messenger training will be on June 20 in Keene.

This event was sponsored by the Derry Parks & Recreation Department.

Review the Concussion & Safety Recognition Policy

It is our intent to take steps to help ensure the health and safety of all Special Olympics participants. With that in mind, please remember that safety comes first and that you should take reasonable steps to help minimize the risks for concussion or other serious brain injuries. 

Effective January 1, 2015, a participant who is suspected of sustaining a concussion in a practice, game or competition shall be removed from practice, play or competition at that time. If a qualified medical professional is available on-site to render an evaluation, that person shall have final authority as to whether or not a concussion is suspected. If applicable, the participant's parent or guardian should be made aware that the participant is suspected of sustaining a concussion.

Additionally, all Coaches are required to complete one of the concussion awareness training courses outlined in the Concussion & Safety Recognition Policy.

To view the entire Concussion Awareness & Safety Recognition Policy, please see page 74 of the  LPCM.



Saturday, May 9
Lower Merr Area Summer Games
Saturday, May 9
Upper Valley Area Summer Games
Saturday, May 16
Monadnock Area Summer Games
May 16 - June 5
Law Enforcement Torch Run
Saturday, May 16
Sunday, May 17
Great North Woods Area Sum Games
Sunday, May 17
Seacoast Area Summer Games
June 5 - June 7
State Summer Games
Saturday, June 20
Coaches Training
July 1 - August 2
Special Olympics Promotion



Special Olympics New Hampshire is grateful for the annual support of our Mission Partners who help bring our programs to life.