Area26 news & updates
July 2021 | Issue 23
Let me win, but if I cannot win,
Let me be brave in the attempt.
From the Editor...
Face Mask 1
More activities are working to return to play under the rules set for Phase 1. If you can get the vaccine, but haven't yet, please do... so that VA can stay open safely and we can all get back to competition.
Get Ready to Come Back!!

  • The plan to restart our sports will follow the SOVA guidelines for the return-to-play effort (button #1)

  • We continue to encourage our athletes to get vaccinated as soon as they can. Information about getting vaccinated can be found (button #2)

  • Each athlete and Volunteer will have to complete a COVID Waiver Form (button #3).[3] 

  • SOVA and the CDC provide information about what it means to be a “high risk” participant, and we encourage you to follow the guidance of both SOVA and the CDC in this regard (button #4).

  • For any athletes with an expired Medical Release, they will have to submit updates to all forms (button #5)

Also, Please note: Any athlete wanting to start a new sport must reach out to the sports coordinator before coming to a practice. While we want to include everyone in this reopening process, we do have to control our numbers and we need to know who will be attending practices so we can follow the SOVA protocols we described above.
Please email completed athlete forms to:

In preparation for return-to-play, we are including a link below to the Volunteer Class A Certification Process on the Area 26 website. 

Volunteer Class A, and coach certifications must be updated every 3 years. Many certifications have expired, and many are due to expire. All volunteers are also required to have a COVID19 Waiver on file (button #3 above... ).
Please email completed volunteer forms and certifications to:
Virtual Activities Update...
Hi Athletes,

Yoga and Zumba will be continuing this month, along with some pop-up surprises. Details and schedule can be found on the online resources page on the Website.
YOUniquely Fit has restarted their excellent program again after a short break in June. There is room for new athletes if you are looking for a great way to get in some exercise with some top-notch SO Coaches on days you don't have team practice. You can join at the button, Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Thursday from 6 to 7pm!
Keep up the energy everybody! 
Having Fun...
Athletes out working on their ball skills and getting in some exercise in the summer sun...
Doing something fun? Send us your pictures, and see yourself here...
Graduation Time
Here are pics of some of our athletes who turned the tassel this year!

Congratulations to all of these super-motivated students...
Zach Fowler with his parents (his mother is new Area Medical Coordinator Christine Fowler...)
Hoang Phan
Kyler Reese
Kyler Reese, Alex Bouldin and Hoang Phan celebrating in front of a big screen pic of Zach
Dane Liberatore and Jack Doran
Jeyoon Cho
Swimmers Unite to Support Special Olympics and Fighting Blindness
  • by Billy Duquette
On Sunday, June 6, my sister Michelle (front row/center in the blue cap in the pictures...) had a very special event at Burke Racquet and Swim club (where she practices her swimming with swim buddies...).

The Club hosted its annual "Swim like Michelle" fundraiser to promote her cause with the Foundation of Fighting Blindness and the Foundation Vision walk. She is both a Special Olympian and she is blind, so she has very special challenges when swimming.
During the event, her swim group put on goggles that were darkened so much that THEY would swim like they were blind. They had to use the lane ropes to help guide them through the water, and "tappers" with walking sticks with a tennis ball at the end let the swimmers know where the wall would be. The tappers at both ends were Michelle’s family members and her swimming Master coach.

To contribute to Michelle’s cause go this link to her page, at the button below
Fit-5 Fitness Pals Monthly Update...
The Fit5-Five...Chris, Tom, Dave, Max and Kyler are getting ready to play again!
Chris vaulting a turn on the obstacle course...
Tom making a clean grab over Chris' defense!
Kyler avoiding a defender to go for a catch...
Max doing a whole workout at once!!
David ready for his Daily Soccer 1-on-Self workout
Athletes Corner
  • by Max Hershberger
Hello Area 26!!!!!

Hope you're doing well and staying active by working out daily!!

As a Fit 5 member, and a Track athlete, I have been running a lot and I try to go for a run 5-6 days every Week for training.  

I recently went on a Family vacation trip and went to Pennsylvania & Ohio trip. In Pennsylvania I did some hiking, Bonfire, Swimming in the lake and passing the football with my cousins. I had a great time in Pennsylvania. 

My Parents live in Dayton Ohio and got to stay with them for the week. In Ohio I got to run around the track my formal high school, rode bikes with my parents, went to adventure golf, and went to the restaurant to celebrate my parents anniversary. 

I had a great vacation trip to spend some time with my family members. I hope you all get the chance for a break this summer - Great times 😊

Please get your shot if you can but didn't. That way we can get sports back up again. Keep on continuing wearing your mask and staying 6 feet apart. Do your part to stay safe

Talk to you next month!!
Max Hershberger
Still time for a few more donations to Torch Run!!
If you still haven had the chance, but want to make the flame hotter, you can give to the 2021 Area team at the button.

IMPORTANT: Please always remember when registering or donating to indicate your affiliation with Area 26 so that we get 1/2 of the proceeds to fund the local program!!
Unified Rugby Clinic ...
A number of athletes signed up from Area 26 and participated in the Unified Rugby Clinic run by the Washington Wolfpack Rugby Club. Potomac Region Senior Director Veronica Jennings was there in the heat with the crew, who all got the chance to experience a new sport. Here are some pics...
Sport Startup of the Month: Softball
  • By Paul Tierney
As we dugout of the pandemic year, it was a great relief to get out on the fields and play ball again. We led off the season in Phase 1, which was limited to practices only in groups of 10 or fewer. 

Of course we had a rainout our first week, but to our great relief good weather finally made an appearance in the second and third weeks, and we could Play Ball! 
The cicadas came off the bench to assist our practices, and we batted them away as best we could. We now have several teams in Phase 2, which allows us to play games, so we are starting to get around the horn on this and back to a normal lineup of games. 

The athletes and coaches were thrilled to get back together again, and even with masks, limited sizes and social distancing, it was terrific to do sports again! We have gone into extra innings and extended our season thru July, and look forward to more games and a return to the fun and joy that Special Olympics delivers!
Stay Healthy, Stay Active!!
We love to have your pictures - so keep busy and...
Motorcycle Rodeo...
  • by Ellen Head, SOVA Staff
In September the Fairfax PD will be hosting the Mid-Atlantic Motorcycle Rodeo and has named SOVA as the charity partner. As a part of this, they would like to engage athletes though the planning/training process and into the event. Details about athlete invitations to the event in September will come closer, but first, the Fairfax PD has asked if we could invite athletes out a practice that they are holding on July 15.  
The training will be conducted at the Prince William County Driver Training Facility in Nokesville. The address is listed below. 
Address: 13101 Public Safety Dr. Nokesville, Va 20181
They will begin training around 7:30 AM and work through the morning until about 11:00 AM , when they will break for lunch. Athletes are invited to attend and converse with the officers during the morning training/lunch time. They also plan to try to engage anyone that comes in other fun ways.
They can come any time during the 7:30 am and 11 am time frame. Either Nicole or myself will be present. 
Please note that this will be noisy so it may not be a good event for all athletes. 
We ask that any interested athletes RSVP at the Button:
--Hail and Farewell--
Welcome our new Council Members: Jeffrey Eskridge, Referee Coordinator; Christine Fowler, Medical Coordinator and Tejas Patel, Volunteer Coordinator.

Farewell: Bruce Fingerhut is moving on from the Council. We thank him for his years of service.
Area 26 is still in need of a new volunteers for the position of Adult Bowling Coordinator.

The Adult Bowling Coordinator manages our very popular bowling program, arranging the facilities and tournaments for the league. We want to keep this going as soon as the COVID circumstances allow!

If interested in the position, please contact Area Council Chair Elaine Tilton at chairman@novasova.orgg
Revealing the Champion in all of us...
Please continue to share information about this newsletter and website with those you know in the community so that we can better share the wonder of our special athletes and volunteers. To sign up to receive the newsletter, go to our webform Newsletter Subscription
Area 26 Points of Contact
Area 26 Council

Elaine Tilton

Chuck Adkins-Blanch
Patrick DeLapp
Jeffrey Eskridge
Christine Fowler
Max Hershberger
Jay Hoffmeier
Veronica Jennings
Nancy Julia
Abby Lacy
Katherine Martin
Jeff McGiboney
Tejas Patel
Nancy Robbins
Bernie Woolfley
Area 26 Special Olympics |
Season Directors
Elaine Tilton, Fall/Winter

Nancy Julia, Spring/Summer

Barry Tilton

Volunteer Coordinator
Tejas Patel

Athlete Representative
Max Hershberger

Medical Coordinator
Christine Fowler

Senior Director, Potomac Region
Veronica Jennings
When you click, scroll to the bottom of the Site Homepage