The 2017 Softball State Tournament took place on Saturday, September 16th in Oregon at the Coontz Recreational Complex. The weather was reported as the best we have ever had and the event featured over 700 athletes in both Unified, Traditional, and Skills divisions. The champions in each division were: Traditional Div 1- Darke Dawgs, Div 2- Geauga DD, Div 3- Columbiana, Div 4- Stark DD Red, and Unified Div 1- Franklin NW Superstars. Congratulations to all of the teams on their excellent performance and overall sportsmanship throughout the tournament!!
The 2017 State Golf Event took place over two days, September 19 & 20th at the Meadow Links Golf Academy in Northern Cincinnati. The weather mostly cooperated over the two-day event, but never seemed to dampen the spirit of the foursomes out on the course! We had 202 registered golfers and the low score on the Meadow Links course was 36-Unified, Todd Eisinger & Mike Pointinger (9 holes), and for the Mill Course it was 46-Traditional, John Vilardo (9 holes). Great effort by all involved!
October State-Level Events— Team Bowling Tournament (21st-22nd) Holiday and Sawmill Lanes, Columbus. On Saturday, November 4th, we will have our first ever Flag Football tournament in London/Madison County. If you are interested in starting a flag football program, I suggest you come out and watch and learn! It will take place beginning at 9am at 510 Elm Street, London, OH 43130.
Powerlifting – this is a sport which requires a year round training regimen rather than the typical 3-month practice and preparation. The two biggest factors in starting and maintaining an effective Powerlifting training program is finding an available facility with equipment and a coach to design a training plan and hold the athletes accountable for the work. We will feature a training video on Powerlifting programming this December via our new YouTube Channel entitled “Special Olympics Ohio Sports Resources” to assist local chapters in setting up and developing their program. If you need assistance, please contact John at the state office.
It’s Fall, and the temperatures SHOULD begin to cool down which makes it a great time to get outside and enjoy the Ohio seasonal weather. Taking a walk after meals helps to jump start your metabolism and aides in digestion. Avoid the desire to sit in front of the TV after meals or stare at your phones. Get up, get outside and move…you will feel better and get healthier as a result.
During this month’s Ohio Leadership Conference, a brand new option to become a “Special Olympics Ohio Certified Coach” will be released and it is something I believe all coaches should strive to become (there will also be a super-cool black polo shirt involved). This will only further enhance the reputation and professionalism within our coaching ranks. I will go over the details on how to obtain this certification in the November newsletter; however, part of the requirements will include currently certified in First Aid/CPR/AED. These courses are normally offered by the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association and important to keep you proficient with safe and effective life saving techniques should an event occur at a practice or a game. Get certified!
During practice time, either during warm up or cool down stretches, talk to your teams/athletes about proper nutrition…what to eat, how much to eat, and when it’s best to eat to maximize performance. Need a resource to prepare for that discussion?
Most importantly, athletes may not always believe what you say, but they are likely to believe what they see you do. Be the model for eating to perform. Avoid unhealthy choices including pop and candy for drinks and snacks. Cutting out soda alone from your diet can positively impact your health and help you and your athletes lose weight. Water is always best, and try some flavored water if it helps with consumption. Proper hydration is essential for athletic performance. Mayo Clinic Link
There are times when we become disheartened or discouraged and life may feel like an uphill climb. Those are the times to remember that a rewarding life is filled with challenge; the effort creates fires that temper us and strengthen our spirit. So do not feel pity for me. Give me a chance!
~THOMAS GATU, SPECIAL OLYMPICS KENYA ATHLETE AND COACH
Remember to ALWAYS have your Athlete’s and Partner’s Application for Participation and Release Forms in your possession while training, traveling and/or competing. Should a medical event occur, those forms will be necessary for the athlete to receive treatment!