Special Olympics has been a large part of the community for several years. Over time, there have been requests from families to host a similar program for younger children.
With that in mind, Special Olympics for Young Athletes, or SOYA, was formed in 2017 beginning with events at the Clinton County Board of Developmental Disabilities and two local school districts.
Now there are approximately 8-10 families who attend SOYA events on a regular basis and the number keeps growing.
SOYA is a program designed to enhance a child’s gross and fine motor development as well as their social skills. The skills that are taught introduce concepts that can prepare young children for Special Olympics or other sports teams in their future.
One SOYA family said, according to the CCBDD press release, “What my husband and I have most enjoyed about SOYA is it gives our children the opportunity to meet other children in a worry-free social setting. In addition, it gives our family a chance to connect with other families in similar circumstances.”
They also said, “The SOYA program is a phenomenal program that is put on by an amazing staff at the Clinton County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Every staff member goes out of their way to work with each child, including children identified with specific needs as well as their siblings.”
Josh Adkins is the Community Integration Coordinator for CCBDD.
“We have also had requests from local school districts’ preschool staff requesting SOYA activities for school related events,” Adkins said. “We feel this is a positive way to support our preschool children and their families with fun motor activities and share information about SOYA.
With the recent COVID-19 outbreak the April and May sessions have been postponed. Other dates for now are July 16 and Aug. 6. Refer to the Clinton County Board of DD’s website, the Community Integration Facebook page or the social events section of the Wilmington News Journal for updated information regarding all board sponsored and other related events.
Anyone interested in more information about the Clinton County Board of DD and services offered, call 937-382-7519 or visit the website at www.co.clinton.oh.us/boardofdd.
If you are interested in more information about Clinton County Special Olympics contact Clintn County Special Olympics Coordinator Josh “Eddie” Adkins at 937-382-7519 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.