Special Olympics Iowa has extended the suspension of all in-person training and activities through the end of July.
Softball is Going Virtual this Year
We may not be having the 2020 Special Olympics Iowa Softball Tournament presented by Sammons Financial Group, but we are having 2020 Virtual Softball presented by Sammons Financial Group. The event will feature an at-home competition, July 6 through July 27, followed by the Virtual Softball Series, July 29 through 31.

The at-home competition is open to all members of the Special Olympics Iowa community and will feature four competition events, base running, throwing, fielding, and hitting. The Virtual Softball Series will include six sessions ranging from programming updates to a game hour and virtual dance.
Congratulations to the 2020 Special Olympics Iowa All-Iowa Sports Awards Winners
On June 18, during a prerecorded awards show, the Des Moines Sports Awards honored top athletes from across Iowa in 21 sports categories. Among those honored were Special Olympics Iowa athletes and Unified pairs. The virtual Sports Awards program was hosted by sports broadcasters, Jesse Palmer, Sage Steel, Dr. Jerry Punch, and Courtney Cronin, the show featured some of the top professional athletes as awards presenters.

Boys' Special Olympics Athlete of the Year
Tristan Tracy - Bedford Community Schools

Girls' Special Olympics Athlete of the Year
Chloe Hays - Harlan Community Schools

Special Olympics Unified Pair
Joy Rector and Evie Sly - Des Moines Roosevelt
Steppin' Through Summer Challenge
As our summer fitness challenge, Steppin' Through Summer, gets underway, we encourage everyone that has not already register for the challenge to do so. This challenge gives you a reason to get outside and enjoy the summer weather while walking, running, biking, and rolling to the top of the weekly leader boards. All participants will have the chance to win prizes throughout the challenge, and athletes will even have the chance to win a Fitbit activity tracking watch. Join us in walking, running, biking, and rolling through summer 2020!

Join us for a virtual dance celebrating the start of the Steppin’ Through Summer Challenge. The dance will take place today from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. 

First Ever Health Messenger Training
Are you a Special Olympics Iowa athlete who…
-Is passionate about your health?
-Is committed to leading the charge in efforts to make your team and community healthier?
-Is interested in talking with health care providers or political leaders about the importance of quality health care for people with intellectual disabilities?
-Wants to learn more about what it really means to live a healthy lifestyle?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then we encourage you to apply to become a Special Olympics Iowa Health Messenger! This new training is set to take place virtually, over Zoom, on August 28 and 29 and will cover topics like delivering fitness and health lessons, motivating peers to maintain good nutrition, and being a health and fitness representative for Special Olympics Iowa. Applications will be accepted through July 22 and selected trainees will be notified by July 29.

Virtual Torch Run Recap
Each year hundreds of members of Law Enforcement carry the Flame of Hope from Des Moines to Ames to kick off the annual summer games. While Law Enforcement couldn't physically carry the Flame of Hope to Ames this year, the Torch Run did take on a new look as it went virtual for the first time. Unique to this year's Torch Run, the "run" was a fundraiser that all members of the Special Olympics Iowa community were invited to take part in.

There were over 140 individuals that participated in the Virtual Law Enforcement Torch Run by r unning, walking, or biking in support of Special Olympics Iowa and the LETR Program between May 21 and June 1. A grand total of $4,365.00 was raised.
Interested in supporting the Special Olympics Iowa Law Enforcement Torch Run? Purchase a supporter shirt, polo or baseball cap today.

The 3rd Annual Athlete Leadership Conference Slated for September 18 and 19
The Third Annual Athlete Leadership Conference is scheduled for September 18 and 19 at the Baymont Inn and Suites in Des Moines. The conference will provide opportunities for Global Messengers to continue developing their leadership skills. All those interested in attending the conference will need to fill out the conference applications by August 24.  
 
For more information about the Athlete Leadership Conference, click here or contact Wendy Olinger by emailing    wolinger@soiowa.org .
Spring Virtual MOVEment
The Special Olympics Iowa Spring Virtual MOVEment wrapped up in early June. During the nine-week challenge, many participants showed great commitment and growth while learning and applying new nutrition, fitness, and self-care topics. To everyone who participated, great job!

A special shoutout to athletes Tomi DeGrado, Keera Galindo, Angela Oberlander, and Adam Payne for completing ALL 30 challenges.

Connect With Special Olympics Iowa
Practicing social distancing may be the most effective way to fight the spread of COVID-19. However, that doesn't mean you can't connect virtually and reach out to teammates, friends and family.

Connect with Special Olympics Iowa for inspiration and wellness tips.
Coaches Corner
We are excited to share that Class A Volunteer certification and re-certification can now be completed online in three steps.
  1. Complete the Class A Volunteer Application and background check
  2. Take the Protective Behavior Training and quiz
  3. submit a color photo, passport quality, to classa@soiowa.org