Let’s Get Ready to Bowl!

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Registration is open for our 2017 bowling season.  It seems like it has been a long time, but we are ready to start our bowling season March 18, 2017.

Registration is to be completed online at www.buncombecountyspecialolympics.org.  Please take time to get familiar with the site.  The training schedule/calendar for each sport is listed there.

Each athlete must complete an Athlete Season Request before starting practice. The request can be located in the “Resource Tab” on the site. It is a simple online form that is submitted electronically after completion. This form is required for every athlete regardless of the other sports they are participating in; it allows us to ensure an accurate headcount and keeps contact information up to date.

The Athlete Participation Form (APF) must be on file with Buncombe County Special Olympics before the athlete can participate. There are no exceptions to this policy. If you are unsure if your is up to date, please email (special.olympics@buncombecounty.org) or call us (828.250.4265)

The Athlete Code of Conduct is being reintroduced and implemented in all programs.  Each athlete will be requires to review the form and sign or signature of the Guardian/Parent will be accepted.

Athletes must have an adult caregiver/family member on the campus at practice at all times. Coach contact information and practice location will be provided to those who have completed the registration process.

Soccer Team Preps for Soccer Invitational

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The Buncombe County Special Olympics Soccer team has been practicing and preparing to take on opponents from neighboring counties since the soccer season opened. The time has finally come to put their skills in the spotlight. On Sunday, October 16,2016 soccer teams from the surrounding counties will participate in a round robin style invitational at the 2016 Buncombe County Special Olympics Soccer Showdown.The Showdown will take place at the Buncombe County Sports Park from 2pm until 5pm.

They never stop. The soccer team is out enjoying some awesome weather for practice!

A post shared by Buncombe Special Olympics (@buncombecountyso) on

 

If you know of a Special Olympics local program that interested in participating or if you are interested in volunteering or spectate, check out the Facebook event.

Our athletes are excited about hosting their friends from around the regional and enjoying an afternoon of socialization and competition.

Special Olympics to Benefit from Admissions to Buncombe County Pools

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Buncombe County Special Olympics Dolphins Aquatics team at the 2016 Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games

Beat the Heat!  Visit any one of the five Buncombe County Recreation Services outdoor pools on Friday, August 5, 2016 and support Buncombe County Special Olympics.

Chill out in the cool, blue waters of a swimming pool near you.  Admission is only $3.00 per person and all proceeds from Friday’s visits will be donated to Buncombe County Special Olympics.  Swim Club Management Group, the management company for the County pools has made this generous opportunity possible.

Swim Club Management Group has been an avid supporter of the Buncombe County Special Olympics aquatics team, the Dolphins, as they prepared for Summer Games earlier this year in High Point, NC.  Swim Club Management Group provided the Dolphins with new uniforms this year and has created space for them to sell ice cream throughout the summer as a fundraiser at the Erwin pool.

Friday’s event will support the entire Buncombe County Special Olympics program, which offers all of its programming at no cost to its athletes.  Buncombe County Special Olympics is volunteer run and donation driven.  Support of partners such as Swim Club Management Group is critical in creating opportunities that allow individuals with intellectual disabilities to understand what they can accomplish through athletics and to help the community at large overcome stereotypes and misconceptions about those with intellectual disabilities.

With summer quickly coming to a close, opportunities to enjoy fun in the sun and a refreshing swim end soon at most County pools as the season closes on August 14.

Participating Swimming Pools: Cane Creek, Erwin Community, Hominy Valley, North Buncombe, Owen.  Pool operating hours are 12:00pm – 5:45pm.  Pool location information can be found at https://www.buncombecounty.org/Governing/Depts/Parks/Facilities/Pools/Default.aspx.

With summer quickly coming to a close, opportunities to enjoy fun in the sun and a refreshing swim end at most County pools on August 14.

For additional information contact Lynn Pegg with Buncombe County Recreation Services (828)250-6707 or lynn.pegg@buncombecounty.org.

Athlete Spotlight – Sue Eversman

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Sue meets explains the Unified Kickball concept to WLOS Meteorologist Zack Green.

Today’s Athlete Spotlight focuses on Sue Eversman.  Sue is definitely one of our well-rounded athletes who competes in basketball, soccer, and bocce.  She traveled to High Point, North Carolina in 2015 to represent Buncombe County in soccer at the Special Olympics North Carolina Fall Tournament.  Sue has also competed in a number of regional competitions including a regional bocce competition in November 2015 and a regional basketball scrimmage in January 2016.

We asked Sue about her participation in Special Olympics and some of her favorite activities.  Her answers are below.  Look for Sue as we post pictures of events and the progress of our athletes during the season.

What is your favorite sport or activity with Special Olympics?

Basketball

Is there a new sport or activity you would like to learn?

Kickball

What do you like best about Special Olympics?

Spending time with my friends.

What do you do outside of Special Olympics?

Work at Carrabba’s, dance at the Asheville Ballroom, hoopla hoop in Pritchard Park, exercise at the Reuter Y, walk in the neighborhood

What is one word that describes you?

Outgoing

Is there anything you want people to know about Special Olympics?

I like going out and doing sports and making new friends.  I like my coaches too.

Buncombe County Special Olympics Powerlifting Team to Compete in Cheerokee Iron Boy Powerlifting Event

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The Buncombe County Powerlifting Team will be compete on Saturday, June 18, 2016 in the Iron Boy Powerlifting competition.  The team has been practicing for months to polish their skills and will take full advantage of this competition, which will integrate traditional and Special Olympic Powerlifters, to showcase their talents.

A lifters meeting will be on Saturday Morning at 9:30 A.M.  Lifting will begin at approximately 10:30 A.M.

Spectators and support team members are encourage to cheer the team on.  There is a $6.00 spectators fee for all adult non-lifters,  $3.00 for students, and children under 5 are free.
The event will take place at Cherokee Fitness Complex, 37 Cherokee Boys Club Loop, Cherokee, NC 28719.

Understanding Special Olympics

There’s any number of misconceptions out there about Special Olympics and the intellectually disabled population it serves. Overall, the program continues to build support and opportunities for its athletes and acceptance within their communities. Matthew Williams explains the importance of the program with an eloquence that few can muster.

Now Recruiting Coffee Shops for “Coffee for Champions”

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Buncombe County Special Olympics is a volunteer-driven, donation-funded program designed to create sporting opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. We focus on inclusionary programming that builds connections between our athletes and the community. We don’t have staff members and we don’t pay for office space, the money donated to the program goes straight to creating opportunities for the athletes.

All this being said, fundraising is difficult for us. We often have to ask the same volunteers who coach and transport athletes to turn around and devote even more time to the program to help us run fundraisers. We want to focus more time on our athletes and less on the hustle, so we’re trying to get creative.

We’re asking Asheville coffee shops to help us by donating a penny from each cup of coffee they sell during the month of August.

We want to create a fundraiser that generates the largest amount of community support possible. While money will always help us alleviate our fundraising needs, this concept is more about increasing awareness of our local Special Olympics program. Buncombe County Special Olympics needs community support in order for us to thrive and support our athletes. We view each cup sold as a new connection.

Just like any sports team, we want the support of our hometown.

Our goal is to get as many Asheville coffee shops invested as possible. We’ll be listing participating locations with a map on our website. We’re hoping to generate a new community support and to show the power of collective advocacy. We’ll also work to create business linkages and customer drive to participating businesses through social media.

Enroll your business by calling 828.250.4265 or e-mailing special.olympics@buncombecounty.org.

Athletes Prepare for Summer Games 2016

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Matt Paoletti and Sue Eversman representing Buncombe County at the 2015 Special Olympics NC Fall Games.

In the days following Spring Games, Buncombe County Special Olympics has been charging hard to prepare for the Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games in High Point, North Carolina from June 3-5, 2016.

Susan Paoletti, one of the pillars of our program has graciously agreed to serve as Head of Delegation and has spent countless hours coordinating with Buncombe County Recreation Services staff to make sure all of our paperwork is in order and that our athletes have the resources needed to compete at their maximum potential.  Susan will be accompanied by a team of extremely dedicated volunteer coaches and chaperones.

Buncombe County is sending a total of 55 delegates to this year’s Summer Games, 40 of whom are athletes in our program (the other 15 are the coaches and volunteers supporting the athletes).  These 40 athletes represent the dedication that all of our year-round program participants put into their sports and the commitment they have to serving as ambassadors for our program.

Buncombe County delegates will showcase their talents in cheerleading, gymnastics, aquatics, bowling, and athletics (track and field).  Our delegates will participate in a weekend’s worth of competitions, arriving on Friday and working their way through competitive brackets throughout the weekend.  Summer Games schedule is compressed and requires a tremendous amount of focus and resolve on the part of both our athletes and volunteers.  Given tight budgets and logistics constraints, many athletes will be traveling without their families and caretakers relying on their Buncombe County Special Olympics family for support.

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Athletes grab a bite to eat and plan the next day’s events at the 2015 Special Olympics NC Fall Games.

Summer Games is of course not all work.  Athletes and volunteers will have the opportunity to socialize with others in programs throughout the state and to revisit friendships that have been kindled through years of state and regional events.  Athletes will attend the Opening Ceremonies on Friday evening showing their pride in our program.  Throughout the weekend, our volunteers will shuttle athletes to a variety of competitions scattered among venues across High Point, Raleigh, and Cary.  On Saturday night delegates will have the opportunity to put on their best dance wear and join in the festivities at the Olympic Village and Dance.  As always, our program (and the efforts of the Special Olympics North Carolina) focus on providing a once in a lifetime experience that rewards the work that it takes to be selected for Summer Games.

If there is an unfortunate side to our program, it’s the need to always focus on fundraising.  We are extremely lucky to have a wide base of community support and to be able to offer all of our programs at opportunities at no charge to our athletes.  Unlike conventional sports and athletic programming, we don’t charge registration fees and we provide our athletes all the equipment and training they need at no cost.  This places demands on our program to constantly have an eye toward fundraising and costs.  We focus on driving our costs down to the absolute minimum.  This often means that our already generous volunteers are donating use of their vehicles and personal resources to make events happen.  You can see the breakdown below of what our expected costs are for Summer Games.  Clearly, few programs can match our per athlete cost in sending athletes across the state for a weekend competition.CostBreakdown.PNGWe always need support.  Whether it’s through monetary donation or through volunteer hours.  We currently have a campaign underway to offset our cost of Summer Games so that we can continue to have funding available that allows us to expand our program and offer more opportunities to the community we serve.  We have raised $292 of the estimated $4,000 we need to offset this year’s Summer Games cost, so if you can support our athletes, please consider a donation today.  Any amount will help our program focus on athletes rather than fundraising.  If you have an idea for another way to contribute (such as snacks for Summer Games), please shoot us an e-mail (special.olympics@buncombecounty.org) or call us at 828.250.4265.

 

Thank you for Spring Games 2016!

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It’s been a couple of weeks since our Spring Games and we’re already in the midst of planning for our next Buncombe County Special Olympics engagements.  We are thrilled (and relieved now that we’ve had the chance to recuperate) to be able to check another successful event off our calendar for 2016.  Spring Games, our largest annual event, served over 500 athletes and used the assistance of some 1000 volunteers to make the day’s events come together.  The games were held on May 5 at TC Roberson High School.  Although the weather was unexpectedly cool and blustery, it didn’t hinder our athletes or the volunteers from turning out in full force ready for a day of camaraderie and competition.

Special Olympics athletes from across Buncombe County assembled for the Spring Games, which focus on track and field style competition.  Events included the softball toss, long jump, relay, and foot races. Spring Games brings an adaptive experience offering events catered to each athlete’s individual needs with a range between development skill events and traditional track and field athletics.  The games also feature a Young Athletes Program for athletes between ages 2 and 7 who are not yet old enough to participate in the competitive events.

During the downtime between events, athletes and their “buddies” visited the “Olympic Village” for a number of entertaining exhibits and activities including face painting, dancing, art projects, fresh strawberries and more!  Athletes were treated to lunch courtesy of Chick-fil-A.

This annual event takes place each spring after many hours of planning and collaboration with volunteers, sponsors, and school staff.  Spring Games is an important event within Buncombe County Special Olympics’ offerings as it creates an opportunity for those who may not participate in our year-round programming an opportunity to experience the themes of accomplishment and social connection that are such a vital component of our program.  Spring Games are a tremendous labor of love and a huge logistical undertaking that takes the focus and dedication of the entire community to create a meaningful experience for our athletes.  The work of such a large team of volunteers is vital to the success of the games which bring the over 500 athletes together for a large number of competitive events all within the span of 3-4 hours.

We would like to give a huge shout out of thanks to all the folks who helped make this event a success:

The Chaddick Foundation, TC Roberson High School (staff and students), the Progressive Education Program, Buncombe County Law Enforcement Torch Run Crew, Skyland Fire Department EMS, Buncombe County Commissioner Joe Belcher, ABLE Rent-A-Jon, Coca Cola Bottling Company, Pepsi Cola, Hard Exercise Works Gym, Care Solutions Mobility, Asheville Rotary Club West, Knights of Columbus, Tim Lolley, Bill Keel (Biltmore Baptist Youth Program), LEAF Community Arts, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department Crime Prevention, WNC Farmers Market, Carolina Pediatric Therapy, Fun Depot, Asheville Tourist Baseball, Texas Roadhouse, Char Bar No. 7, The Hop Ice Cream Café, Adams/Old Castle, Wild Wing Café, West End Bakery, Westville Pub, Standard Pizza Co., Pizza Hut, Target, Blush Asheville, Studio 828, the staff of Buncombe County Recreation Services and Grounds Maintenance, Chili’s Grill & Bar (Arden, NC), Party Blvd, and the many wonderful volunteers who donated their time to spend with athletes on this special day.  We couldn’t have done it without you all!

Each year, we work to understand how we can improve and streamline Spring Games; the event is an ever evolving opportunity and we strive to continually enhance our offerings.  If you participated and have not yet had a chance to provide your feedback, please do so.  We are already working on Special Olympics Spring Games 2017, so if you are interested in volunteering to be part of this special day or if you are interested in coming on board as a sponsor let us know!  Opportunities to get involved are as wide ranging and as flexible as your needs.  Additionally, if you know of anyone who might benefit from the Buncombe County Special Olympics, please help us get them signed up!