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MLS All-Star Week Day 3: Adventuring & Chipotle Game

MLS All-Star Week day number three began with an entire morning free, and the Special Olympics Massachusetts crew decided to use that time to explore. They decided to ditch any maps and just go for a walk, not knowing what they’d find. This adventure led to stumbling upon the San Jose University Campus, which was beautiful and made for a beautiful early morning stroll. Next, the crew walked to a nearby park, which had held the “Men in Blazers’ show the previous night. There were some MLS signs and advertisements as well as a giant soccer ball still inhabiting the park, so James…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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MLS All-Star Week Day 2: Match Day

Tuesday kicked off with a quick breakfast where James checked in with a recap of his first day with his new team. After the most important meal of the day, James and Julia took the the training field for the final time before the evening’s Match against the Western Conference. Just before taking the pitch, the twins got their head shots and Team Special Olympics Massachusetts photos taken.   The Keiths joined all of the Special Olympics Unified teammates for a group lunch and relaxed before heading out to Avaya Stadium for the MLS Works Special Olympics Unified All-Star…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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MLS All-Star Week Day 1: Travel & Training

James and Julia Keith are twins from North Andover who play Unified Soccer with the Andover Stars local program. They were chosen to attend the 2016 MLS Works Special Olympics All-Star Experience presented by ESPN in San Jose, California this summer. We will be following their experience and sharing how MLS and ESPN are working to spread inclusion through sports with this showcase event. Monday, July 25th started early! James and Julia Keith began their journey to San Jose with a 4:00am ET drive to the airport. After hopping onto their first flight to San Jose, they landed in…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Getting More out of Unified Sports

By: Sarah Keith Brendan Aylward has been volunteering for Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) for over eight years. He began in a unified program, “It was my first experience working with anyone with a disability and I loved it”, and has continued to be involved with SOMA ever since. He is now the director of the Central Massachusetts Special Olympics program, through which he coaches soccer, basketball, golf, tennis, and baseball. He was also a coach at the USA Games in 2014. These experiences inspired him to pursue the study of special education and exercise science in college. He now…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Natalie Colon – Advocacy Through Running

By: Lindsay Gomes After declaring 2016 as her “year to volunteer”, Natalie decided to join the 2016 Special Olympics Massachusetts Falmouth Road Race Team. This is not Natalie’s first event with Special Olympics Massachusetts. Earlier this year, Natalie and her husband fundraised for the Polar Plunge and her husband took the plunge! Natalie made the decision to join this year’s team due to her passion towards special education and fitness. Natalie has always had a passion for special education. Throughout her life, she spent time surrounded by individuals with disabilities and challenges which is why she wants to advocate…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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A Network of Families

Anyone who has read Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, will recall one of her recommendations for leading a happy life is to make new friendships. Sometimes making new friends can be challenging for parents of children with special needs. Our kids might have a tough time at public events and often our attention is so focused on our child we don’t have opportunities to socialize and meet new people. Many of us have written “form a network of understanding peers” on our to-do list. As days then weeks then months pass, that item remains unchecked. We may even…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Spreading the Love with Over the Edge

Erica Harvey was first introduced to Over the Edge in 2013 but decided not to participate – a decision she came to regret. The following year, Erica jumped at the opportunity to take part in the event. After her first year rappelling, she began volunteering at the Summer and Winter Games competitions where she was quickly welcomed into the Special Olympics Massachusetts community. This year, Erica has taken charge and will for her second year captain an Over the Edge team. Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) sat down with Erica to discuss her history with Over the Edge, her relationship…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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The Keith Family: All In.

By: Sarah Keith My family loves to get involved. I cannot remember (and actually do not think I have ever experienced) a month without some sort of volunteer event, charity bike ride, or fundraiser. My mother calls it ‘Irish Charity’, and says that it is simply in our blood to do anything we can for those around us. I remember arriving at our hotel in Arizona for a vacation at 3am, and being woken up just three hours later by my parents. They had apparently been unable to sleep and, loitering in the lobby, had learned of a 4.2…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Building Confidence & Self-esteem for Young Athletes

Parent Spotlight: Kathy Horigan Dye As the sports of spring 2016 sprang into action, so did Special Olympics Massachusetts Young Athletes Program, hosted in our very own Yawkey Sports Training Center in Marlborough, MA. A group of 2-7 year olds came together to learn the basic skills that create the foundation of sports.  The purpose of this program is to enable those who do not reach the minimum competition age (of 8 years old) to be introduced to sports.  By way of games and activities, the Young Athletes learn to develop motor skills and increase their hand-eye coordination.  The program…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Special Olympics: Full Circle

Kate Dyer has been involved with Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) since 1997, first as a coach and Unified Partner, and now as a parent to both a Unified Partner and an athlete. This July, Kate Dyer will add a new title to her lengthy SOMA resume, Fundraiser, as she goes Over the Edge in support of the organization to which she is so deeply connected. SOMA sat down with Kate to discuss her history with the sports organization, her decision to fundraise, and the value in raising her children within the organization. SOMA: Tell me a little about your…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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