The roots of Special Olympics reach all the way back to the 1960’s, with Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s day camp for people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) became a recognized and accredited chapter of Special Olympics International with its' own 501(c)3 non-profit status in 1971. Today, SOMA offers 23 sports over the course of four sports seasons to more than 12,000 individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
We welcomed George Kent, SOMA Development Officer, and Nick Savarese, SOMA VP Program for Development to talk about their current programs and their upcoming 50th Anniversary celebrations. The reputation and deep local ties of SOMA has helped to fund many programs over the years. However, as Nick Savarese observed, “the cost of transportation for our athletes has continued to rise at a rate not easily covered or anticipated.” SOMA provides year-round activities that offer continuous opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to develop physical fitness, express courage, experience joy, and strengthen friendships. “Fostering a sense of goodwill and inclusion through sports is witnessing the power of our community at work,” concluded George Kent.
It all starts with the youngest of participants where developing motor skills is the primary focus. From personal experience Scott Barry, Long Cadillac Executive Manager noted that, “watching the participation of the athletes, the complete concentration, and the smiles – it really melts your heart.” SOMA’s training of volunteers to teach these skills that can then transition to beginning sports training supports their mission to create opportunities for all.
To join in and participate as an athlete, volunteer, or sponsor, please use the contact information below.
Contact: George Kent, SOMA Dev. Officer
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508-943-7070 ext. 419