Congratulations to the 2019 All-Iowa Sports Awards Winners
On June 21 the Des Moines Sports Awards honored top athletes from across Iowa in 21 sports categories. Among those honored were Special Olympics Iowa athletes Alli Schneckloth, Tina Sue and KyLee Richards and Nick Mast. A highlight of the evening was the Question and Answer sessions with Kurt Warner and Lolo Jones.

We would like to congratulate all of the athletes that were recognized.

Special Olympics Girl Athlete of the Year
Alli Schneckloth - Eldridge North Scott Lancers

Special Olympics Unified Team of the Year
Tina Sue and KyLee Richards - Creston Schools

Special Olympics Boy Athlete of the Year
Nick Mast - Ankeny Centennial
Special Olympics Iowa Holds First Ever
Youth Summit
On June 11 through 12 the first annual Special Olympics Iowa Youth Summit brought together students from across the state to discuss inclusion and develop action plans that they can take back to their local communities. The summit had 65 attendees from 11 schools; participants ranged from 7 th graders to juniors in high school. 

The event tackled the topics of motivating and empowering others, accountability, leadership and Unified Sports, attendees also participated in a Hy-Vee KidsFit workshop and capped the day off with a pool party.

“It was wonderful seeing so many youth leaders come together to share ideas and stories about the Unified Generation, and to learn more about how the simple concept of inclusion can change the culture of an entire school,” shared Bryan Coffey, Special Olympics Iowa Director of Unified Programs.
NEW: Flag Football Skills Competition
New in 2019: Special Olympics Iowa will offer a flag football skills competition along with the team competition on September 21 in Cedar Rapids. The skills competition will include catching, running and throwing.

Coaches interested in coaching flag football skills are encouraged to attend the August 3 coaches training clinic. A review of the three skills will be conducted during the clinic. Registration forms for the coaches training should be sent to by 07/24/2019.

Bocce Coach and Athlete Training
The purpose of this training clinic is to teach coaches and athletes the rules of bocce and to help them learn how to play the game. There will be opportunities to practice skills and take part in practice games during the clinic.

To sign up for the clinic please email Bruce Wilson at with the names and birth dates of coaches and athletes that will be attending. Deadline for registration is Friday, July 19 .

Training Details:
Date: Thursday, August 1, 2019
Time: Registration starts at 3:30 PM
Clinic begins at 4:00 PM
Practice games go from 4:30 - 7:00 PM
Locations: Valley Southwoods School (625 S 35th Street, West Des Moines)
Find a Challenge Day Near You
Special Olympics Iowa Challenge Days provide an unique opportunity for the severe and profound population of Iowa, as well as our aging population. Challenge Days are a one-day event designed to introduce team sports adapted for the severe and profound as well as those who are unable to participate in the traditional Special Olympics programs. Activities such as ramp bowling, balloon volleyball, team basketball, basketball shoot, batting, ball darts, golf, shot put, race walk and wall pass are modified to allow youth and adults to participate as a team or individual.

There is no charge to participate. Lunch and water are provided and each participant receives a free t-shirt.

Each year there are seven Challenge Days at different locations throughout the state.
River Hills - (River Hills School) 7/11/19
Council Bluffs/Glenwood - (Glenwood Resource Center) 8/15/19
Dubuque - (Wellness Center at Loras College) 10/04/19
Cedar Falls - March 2020
Des Moines - March 2020
Emmetsburg - June 2020
Lake City/Carroll - June 2020

Volunteers are needed at each Challenge Day. Volunteers run the activity stations, help the athletes through the stations and help with overall event execution. For more information please reach out to Wendy Olinger, Director of Athlete Initiatives, at (515) 986-5520 or . Volunteer information can also be found HERE and participation forms can be found HERE .
Special Olympics Iowa is the Charity of Choice
Special Olympics Iowa is excited to be the charity of choice for two upcoming Des Moines events.

Italian American Heritage Festival of Iowa
Date: July 26-27 2019
Location: Western Gateway Park, Des Moines

IMT Des Moines Marathon
Date: Sunday, October 20, 2019
Location: Court Avenue District, 300 Court Ave. Des Moines
Fundraising Central

ButterBurgers® and Badges: Be Sure to Stop by Your Local Culver's

On July 16 l ocal law enforcement and Special Olympic athletes will be collecting donations for Special Olympics. Stores will also be donating $1 from every Concrete Mixer® sold on the day of the promotion. Stores will also be collecting money in canisters during the month of the promotion, called “Change for Champions.”

Event Details
Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Location:  the below link will show you a full list of participating locations

Grab Your Clubs and Join Us for Our Upcoming Golf Tournaments

The upcoming golf tournaments are a great opportunity for individuals and organizations to raise money and support Special Olympics Iowa, while spending a day out on the golf course.
Jim Jordan Memorial Golf Classic
Date: Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Location:  Otter Creek Golf Course, Ankeny, Iowa
Cost:   $80 per person (Kiwanis members receive a discount of $10 per person)

LETR Golf Tournament
Date: Monday, August 19, 2019
Location:  Beaver Creek Golf Club
Cost:   $75 per person / $300 per foursome

Pigskin Madness

This annual fundraiser combines two of our favorite things…NFL football and raising money for Special Olympics Iowa! For just $20, you have 8 chances to win each week of the regular NFL football season – that’s 17 weeks of play!

The Torch Run Supporter T-Shirts
are 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!
Sponsor Spotlight: Knights of Columbus
For many years, the Iowa Knights of Columbus have been dedicated supporters of Special Olympics Iowa. The Iowa Knights of Columbus provide financial support, countless volunteers, and are strong advocates for our athletes. Each year the Knights hold fundraisers and CPID drives (Campaign for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities), more publicly known as Tootsie Roll drives, across the state to help athletes in their local areas.

Many athletes will say that their favorite part of Summer Games  is the Opening Ceremony, where the Knights of Columbus take part in the Parade of Athletes. The athletes love coming into the coliseum, lined by the Knights in their regalia, and being greeted with the smiles, high-fives and hugs from their supporters.
Coaches Corner
Coaches' Guide Available Online!
The 2018-2019 SOIA Coaches' Guide is now available on our website !

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 ( ) 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 with your story ideas.
Event Calendar

Visit our online calendar for event updates!

11-Regional Softball Skills Competition (Manning)
11-River Hills Summer Challenge Day
13-East Central Conference Softball Tournament (Cedar Rapids)
13-West Central Conference Softball Tournament (Des Moines)
13-West Conference Softball Tournament (Sioux City)
16-ButterBurgers® and Badges Fundraiser
20-Dubuque Unified Golf Tournament
20-Vinton Unified Golf Tournament
20-Regional Softball Skills Competition (Muscatine)

1-Bocce Coach and Athlete Training Clinic
3-State Softball Skills & Team Softball Tournament
3-Flag Football Skills Coaches' Training
11-Spencer Unified Golf Tournament
14-Jim Jordan Memorial Golf Classic
15-Glenwood Challenge Day
19-LETR Golf Tournament
20-Night at the Knoxville Raceway
24-Cargill Night at the Ballpark

6-Dunkin Cop on a Rooftop
9 &10-Over the Edge
11-Muscatine Unified Golf Tournament
12-Davenport Unified Golf and Bocce Tournament
14-State Equestrian Competition
21-State Flag Football Tournament
28-Jester Park Unified Golf Tournament