School District of Rhinelander launches Special Olympics Young Athletes?
Since its inception in 1968, Special Olympics has offered sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities who are ages 8 years and older. It wasn’t until a few years ago that children under the age of 8 had an opportunity to participate so Young Athletes™ was developed to meet their needs. The School District of Rhinelander will host an inclusive Young Athletes program on Saturdays from April 13 through June 15, from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. at Crescent Elementary.
Special Olympics Young Athletes is an innovative sports play program for children ages 2 through 7 with intellectual disabilities and their peers. It is designed to introduce them to the world of sports. These activities will help children improve physically, cognitively and socially. It also prepares children to graduate to official Special Olympics training and competition when they turn 8 years old. For peers, it offers a chance to learn about those with intellectual disabilities and to realize everybody’s abilities, creating more understanding and acceptance between our youth.
The program is designed to address two specific levels of play. Level 1 includes physical activities focused on developing fundamental motor tracking and eye-hand coordination. Level 2 concentrates on the application of these physical activities through a sports skills activity program and developing skills consistent with Special Olympics sports play. The activities will consist of foundational skills, walking and running, balance and jumping, trapping and catching, throwing, striking, kicking and advanced skills.
For more information, contact Heidi Lehman, Young Athletes site coordinator in Rhinelander, (715) 362-9286 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Krysten Kirsch at Special Olympics Wisconsin, (262) 241-7786 or email@example.com.