Special Olympics Hawaii School Programs provide opportunities for students of all abilities to learn, train and compete in sports and fitness activities alongside each other through school sanctioned clubs, unified sports, and classroom resources, which is why Special Olympics and Hawaii’s schools make ideal partners. We share a common mission to provide children with intellectual disabilities a chance to learn skills, gain confidence and prepare for lifelong participation in the community.
Special Olympics Hawaii School Programs promote the benefits of fitness while providing opportunities to empower students and allow them to recognize the power they have to make a difference in their world. Sports activities support social interaction, recreation, physical education, and behavior goals that Special Education teachers and staff have developed for their students. According to a study at Yale University published in the Journal of America Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, "Special Olympics athletes perform better at school, at work and at home the longer they participate in the program."
Special Olympics Hawaii School Programs also can help non-SPED students learn about those who are different but can inspire greatness with their individual talents, gifts and personal contributions.
Special Olympics Hawaii is working towards increasing awareness of school-based programs available to complexes throughout the state. Special Olympics Hawaii School Programs can be a resource to schools in regards to sports clubs, fitness training and competition, educational support materials and service learning opportunities.
Special Olympics Hawaii provides an introductory event to our program that Elementary and Middle School programs can come out and get a "taste" of what we offer. Sports Day is a great way for a teacher to decide IF they classroom would benefit from becoming a part of our program. Special Olympics Hawaii provides the transportation, lunch, and volunteers to those schools who would like to experience a day in the life of a Special Olympics athlete. Events such as soccer, softball, bocce, track and field, and gold are provided.
For more information, please contact Nip Ho: Vice President of Area Services
50% of the athletes competing in Special Olympics Hawaii are adults ages 22 to 85. All clients that are in the adult work settings or living in residential group homes are eligible to train and compete in the Special Olympics Hawaii program. Also included as eligible athletes are all adults who would have or did meet the Department of Education eligibility to become a Special Olympics athlete.
Research has shown that individuals that are involved in this program benefit not only physically, but miss less work time and give a better performance on the job. Special Olympics helps to raise self-confidence not only on the playing field, but at home and in the workplace.
Adult agencies can develop their own Special Olympics teams. Special Olympics Hawaii will provide all the training and coaching clinics that are necessary for an agency to begin to develop more active and confident clients. Practices can be conducted during the workday or on the weekend.
Adults who are not connected to an adult agency can also become involved in our program. Our Area programs will be able to place you on a sports club close to your home. If you are interested or just wish to get more information, please contact your Area Director.
Special Olympics Hawaii has many programs not connected to the Department of Education or to an adult facility. These programs are referred to as a Sports Club. Most Sports Clubs train after school or on the weekend. Sports Clubs were developed for individual athletes that wish to compete, but their school or their adult agency may not have a Special Olympics program.
Sports Clubs have grown to be an extremely social group, not only practicing and competing as a team, but they plan activities such as bowling nights, dinners, going to the movies, potluck, etc. Most area programs have Sports Clubs in several different towns within their area. Area Directors and parents are instrumental in establishing and maintaining these programs.
If you are interested in becoming a part of an active Sports Club or if you are interested in developing one, please contact your Area Director.