Only 5 Days Until Winter Games 2020
The talents of 270 athletes and 8 Unified partners will be on full display during the two-day Special Olympics Iowa 2020 Winter Games in Dubuque, Iowa next week. Competitions will be held in alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, speed skating and figure skating. When the athletes and Unified partners are not competing they will be able to enjoy time with friends at the Opening Ceremony, evening banquets and pool party.

We invite everyone to come out to the Grand River Center Patio for the Parade of Athletes and Opening Ceremony on Monday, January 13, at 6:00 pm.


Date:  January 13-14, 2020
Competition Locations:  Sundown Mountain, Albrecht Acres, and Mystique Ice Center in Dubuque
Special Olympics Iowa Will Have Seven New Board Members in 2020
Seven individuals have been appointed to the Special Olympics Iowa Board of Directors and began their terms on January 1. Each of the new directors have devoted a great deal of time to the Special Olympics movement.

Newly appointed directors include:
  • Mary Buscher - (West Des Moines) Mary is a HR Business Partner Consultant with Sammons Financial Group.
  • Thomas Cunningham-(West Des Moines) Thomas is an attorney with Nyemaster Goode, P.C.
  • Erica Ficher-(Ames) Erica is the Department of Admissions Associate Director of Marketing and Campus Visits at Iowa State University.
  • Jason Follett-(Ankeny) Jason is an Academic Advisor at Iowa State University.
  • Tracy Rininger-(Muscatine) Tracy is a Special Needs Aide at Muscatine School District.
  • Randy Spurr-(Indianola) Randy is the Chief Deputy at the Warren County Sheriff's Office.
  • Matthew Wenger-(Ames) Matthew is the Iowa State University Meat Laboratory Program Coordinator.
New Unified Intramural Sport at Drake University
Drake University invites you to participate in their first season of Unified Indoor Soccer Intramurals! In this program, athletes will play soccer on teams with Unified partners (students at Drake University) over the course of 7 weeks. Unified sports is a platform that gives Special Olympics athletes the opportunity to build lasting friendships with students at Drake University, all while building upon the fundamental skills of the sport.
If you are interested in participating in the first season of Unified Indoor Soccer Intramurals or want more information about other upcoming Unified intramural sports at Drake University, St. Ambrose University or University of Iowa please reach out to Lexxi O'Brien at lobrien@soiowa.org .
Fundraising Central
Calling All Dodgeballers!

It is time to gather your friends and register a team for the 6th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Dodgeball Tournament. Dodgeball teams should include 7 to 10 people over the age of 12, and each team can expect to play at least 7 matches.
Date: Saturday, February 1
Location: Lakewood Elementary (9210 Happy Hollow Drive, Norwalk)
Cost: $200 per team (Teams can have 7-10 players)
Join Us for the First Annual Cornhole Tournament

We are excited for our First Annual Cornhole Tournament this February in Cedar Rapids. The tournament will have two divisions - competitive and social. There will be one competitive tournament session, and two social tournament sessions (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). There will be cash payouts for the competitive division and gift card prizes for the social divisions.

Date:  Saturday, February 15, 2020
Location:  Gameon Sports CR (4655 Tower Terrace Rd. Cedar Rapids)
Cost: $60 per team (Teams should include 2 individuals)
Social Morning Session: registration at 9:00 a.m. / bags fly at 10:00 a.m.
Social Afternoon Session: registration at 1:00 p.m. / bags fly at 2:00 p.m.
Competitive Session: registration at 10:00 a.m. / bags fly at 11:00 a.m.

Lets Get Chilly!

Winter is here and that only means one thing, it is time for some Polar Plunges®. The Polar Plunge is a signature fundraiser for Special Olympics and offers a unique opportunity for individuals and organizations to raise money and support Special Olympics Iowa athletes by jumping into frigid waters. Whether you plunge solo or with coworkers, friends or family-for the ultimate bonding experience-we'll help you take "cool" up a degree or two.

 The spring Polar Plunge season includes the Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Council Bluffs and Warren County plunges.

Warren County -Saturday, February 29
Council Bluffs -Saturday, March 21
Cedar Falls/Waterloo-Date TBD
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City-Date TBD
Coaches Corner
Coaches' Guide Available Online!
The 2019-2020 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 "Become a Coach" page !
 
You can now become certified/re-certified ONLINE !
Contact Dawn Criss 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 with your story ideas.
Event Calendar

Visit our online calendar for event updates!

January
7-Southwest Area Basketball Skills
13 & 14-Winter Games
15-Unified Indoor Rowing (University of Iowa)
18-East Area Basketball (Conference & Skills)
18-South Central Basketball Skills
19-Unified Track Meet
22-Unified Indoor Rowing (University of Iowa)
23-North Area Basketball Skills
25-Northwest Area Basketball Skills
26-St. Ambrose University Unified Basketball Intramurals
28-Central Area Basketball Skills
29-Unified Indoor Rowing (University of Iowa)
30-West Central Area Basketball Skills

February
1- 6th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Dodgeball Tournament
1-West Conference Basketball Tournament
5-Unified Indoor Rowing (University of Iowa)
6-Oskaloosa Young Athletes Play Day
8-Wartburg College Unified Sports Day
8-East Central Conference Basketball Tournament
8-East Central Basketball Skills
8-Southeast Area Basketball Skills
8-Iowa Indoor Rowing Challenge
9-St. Ambrose University Unified Basketball Intramurals
13-Southwest Area Bocce Tournament
13-North Central Area Basketball Skills
15-First Annual Cornhole Tournament
15-Northeast Area Basketball Skills
15-West Central Conference Basketball
16-St. Ambrose University Unified Basketball Intramurals
23-St. Ambrose University Unified Basketball Intramurals
29-East Area Swimming
29-Warren County Polar Plunge®

March
1-St. Ambrose University Unified Basketball Intramurals
7-Des Moines Challenge Day
8-Northeast Area Spring Games
8-Northeast Area Swimming
10-NAIA Basketball Special Olympics Clinic
14-Mid-Winter Tournament
18-Inclusion Day on the Hill
21-Council Bluffs Polar Plunge®
24-West Des Moines Young Athletes Play Day
26-Northwest Area Swimming
26-North Area Swimming
28-Cedar Falls Challenge Day