A Look Back on Respect Week 2019
You rock Iowa! Respect Week was a huge success due to everyone's efforts from across this great state. Schools across the state used their creativity to uniquely celebrate the week. Hundreds of individuals shared photos explaining what respect and/or inclusion meant to them and thousands signed posters committing to the revolution of inclusion.
TYR Pro Swim Series Clinic
Special Olympics Iowa swimmers received the opportunity to learn from Cammile Adams, two-time Olympian, during a clinic USA Swimming put on at the TYR Pro Swim Series stop in Des Moines. To make this experience even more special, each Special Olympics swimmer received the opportunity to swim one lap in the Mid American Energy Company Aquatic Center, Prairie Meadows pool. Before beginning their lap, each athlete's name was announced over the loudspeaker, just as if they were competing in the meet.
5 Iowans Shine at World Games
What an exciting time the 2019 World Games were! Iowa had fantastic representation at both the World Games and Global Youth Leadership Summit.

Brandon Baier and Abbi Stastny were both able to come home with some hardware and memories to last a life time. Abbi received gold in shot put and in the 4x100 meter relay. In the 200 meter run she received 4th. Brandon received a bronze in shot put, 4th in the 4x100 meter relay and 5th in the 100 meter run.
Joy Rector and Evie Sly were able to connect with Unified pairs from over 30 different countries, all while learning more about being leaders as an Unified pair. They are now hard at work making their project of a Unified Bowling Team a reality at Roosevelt High School.
Mike Hamm was a champion of inclusion and acceptance in Abu Dhabi, as he represented Team Iowa in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg®. Mike was a member of the Guardians of the Flame™ as the flame made numerous stops throughout the 12 days leading up to the lighting of the torch at the Opening Ceremonies of World Games.
Mid-Winter Tournament Recap
Special Olympics Iowa would like to thank all of the athletes, coaches, volunteers and families that made this year's Mid-Winter Tournament a huge success! Over 1,100 athletes competed at the event in basketball, basketball skills, gymnastics, cheer, dance, and powerlifting. Congratulations to all of the athletes who participated!
What is a Unified Champion School?
Check out this mini documentary that Special Olympics Iowa partnered with Des Moines Public Schools to create. Des Moines Public Schools is a newly established Unified Champion School District. The faculty and students have fully embraced developing a learning platform that will educate and encourage inclusion not only in sport, but in the day to day activities at Des Moines Public Schools.
Sponsor Spotlight: Hy-Vee
Hy-Vee has provided funding, volunteers and resources to Special Olympics Iowa athletes for decades. They are great supporters of Summer Games, the Mid-Winter Tournament, Winter Games, Team Iowa at the USA Games, Polar Plunges® and many more Special Olympics initiatives.

Not only does the corporation provide financial support, but local Hy-Vee stores throughout Iowa generously donate food for Special Olympics Iowa events. Many Hy-Vee employees volunteer for Special Olympics Iowa and the company is recognized as an employer of our athletes. Hy-Vee also provides dietitians at Special Olympics Iowa events who offer free education and resources to athletes and families regarding healthy eating and lifestyle choices.

Thank you Hy-Vee for your unwavering support of Special Olympics Iowa.
Award Nominations Due April 15
Each year we have the opportunity to recognize Special Olympics Iowa athletes, coaches, families and volunteers through the Distinguished Service Awards and Des Moines Register Sports Awards.

Distinguished Service Awards are given in the areas of Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year, Knights of Columbus Award, Outstanding Family of the Year, Outstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year and Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year. These award areas provide a unique opportunity to recognize outstanding members of the SOIA community. Nomination Form

The Des Moines Register Sports Awards recognize high school age kids who best exemplify courage, sportsmanship, training and competition to the highest level. The three award categories for 2019 are Female Athlete of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year and Unified Team of the Year. Nomination Form

Award nominations are due April 15. More information about the awards can be found HERE .
Fundraising Central
Texas Roadhouse Tip a Cop® Fundraiser

Join us on Thursday, April 11 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a "free" lunch and get served by local law enforcement.

Participating Texas Roadhouse locations include
Ames, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Dubuque, Sioux City and Urbandale.

Tiny Tot Triathlon
Calling all Tiny Tots! Join us for an afternoon of kid-friendly activities. Kids in grades K-6 will participate in a run (choose you distance when you check-in), a fireman’s crawl and a mini Polar Plunge® – all to support Special Olympics Iowa. This event is recreational (not competitive) and encourages kids to get active. Wear athletic clothes and tennis shoes and be sure to bring a swimsuit, towel and a change of clothes for the Polar Plunge. Family members are encouraged to cheer their kid(s) on as they go through the triathlon. All Tiny Tots will receive an event T-shirt and goodie bag. For more information and registration, visit our website .

Event Details
Date: Sunday, April 28 at 1 p.m.
Fundraising minimum: $30
Location: Johnston Fire Station (10225 NW 62nd Ave.) and The Bridge Church (10025 NW 62 nd Ave.)

The Torch Run Supporter T-Shirts
are Now on Sale!

Each year, law enforcement officers throughout the state sell supporter T-shirts to raise money for Special Olympics Iowa and show their support for the Torch Run. Buy your T-shirt today!



Upcoming Polar Plunge® Dates
Polar Plunge participants raise a minimum of $75 to take a cold dip in the frigid waters. If jumping into freezing cold water isn't your thing, you can still participate by raising $75 as a "chicken." Immediately following the ceremonial plunge there is a post-party for all participants.

Date : Friday, April 5
Location : Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center

Date : Saturday, April 13
Location : George Wyth Beach
Register Today to Become a Summer Games Volunteer!
We have a variety of volunteer needs available! There are morning and afternoon shifts on Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24, and a morning shift on Saturday, May 25. The list of volunteer opportunities can be viewed by clicking on the link below.




All volunteers will receive a complimentary T-shirt; Thursday and Friday volunteers will also receive lunch.
Karaoke Night at Jeannie's Bottle
Jeannie's Bottle

 Athletes are invited to Jeannie's Bottle for a karaoke night on Tuesday, April 9 from 4-7 p.m.

Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Location: 3839 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, Iowa
Coaches Corner
Coaches' Guide Available Online!
The 2018-2019 SOIA Coaches' Guide is now available on our website !

Trainings 
Becoming a coach and coaching re-certification is now easier than ever!
 
Check out our new "Become a Coach" page:
 
You can now become certified/re-certified ONLINE !
Contact Bruce Wilson ( bwilson@soiowa.org ) if you have any questions about coaching certification.

Registration Forms Available Online
Registration forms for Challenge Days and Young Athlete Play Days are now available online! Go to the Participation Forms page on our website to view registration forms for all SOIA events.

Share Your Story!
Do you know someone with a great story to share? We're always looking to share our athletes' stories in the newsletter. Please email Karen Whitman at kwhitman@soiowa.org with your story ideas.
Event Calendar

Visit our online calendar for event updates!

April
4- Cedar Rapids Young Athletes Play Day
4- Unified Volleyball at the University of Iowa (runs a month)
5- Ames Greek Plunge
6- East Central Area Spring Games
9- Southwest Area Spring Games (Track & Field)
11- North Area Spring Games
13- Central Area Spring Games
13- Central Area Swimming
13- East Area Spring Games
13- Northwest Area Spring Games
13- South Central Area Spring Games
13- Southeast Area Track and Field
13- Cedar Falls/Waterloo Polar Plunge®
16- West Central Area Spring Games
16- West Central Area Swimming
18- North Central Spring Games
18- Ankeny Young Athletes Play Day
23- Des Moines Young Athlete Play Day
23- Youth Games
26- River Hills Young Athletes Pay Day
26- Drake Relays: Special Olympics 4x100 Relay Heat

May
1 & 2- Crappie Tournament
2- Drake Unified Sports Day
23-25 State Summer Games

June
8 - Plane Pull
8 - Emmetsburg Challenge Day
29 - Lake City Challenge Day