Special Athletes Spring Games Winners!

Elijah and Josh

Elijah, Josh and some crazy parents!

Layla dribbling skills!

Layla dribbling skills!

Rebecca shooting skills!

Rebecca shooting skills!

IMGP1992Another great competition for the Big Bend Special Olympics Team! The team traveled to El Paso for the El Paso Regional Spring Games to compete in Basketball and Track. There are approximately 2000 athletes in the El Paso Area, many of them showing up for these two sports, so needless to say, they were large competitions. Big Bend Lobos are the only team that travelled from outside of their region.

Three of our athletes participated in the basketball tournament and everyone brought home awards. In Basketball, our team competed in Individual Skills where Layla Delaney received the silver medal, Elijah Bailey and Rebecca Page received golds. Under the direction of Coach Josh Hinojosa, everyone showed much improvement over last year in individual skills. Next year, we hope to be able to compete in the 3-3 team games. We will need more athletes and coaches if we are to accomplish this goal.

It was a hot El Paso day for the Spring Games Regional Athletics (track and field) meet. This is the largest event and is attended by schools and organizations all over the El Paso Area. Cheered on by coaches Crystal Young and Tony Beinhauer, and athlete Thomas Hillery, and parents of the racers, Rachel ran the 400

Rachel crosses the finish line way ahead of the others!

Rachel crosses the finish line way ahead of the others!

Rebecca pushes across the finish line for the win!

Rebecca pushes across the finish line for the win!

Rebecca, Rachel and Coach Crystal are all #1

Rebecca, Rachel and Coach Crystal are all #1

Meter and blew away the competition, running an excellent race and receiving the gold. Rebecca ran the 100 Meter race. Her heat was close the entire race, but she was determined to pull ahead and win 1st place! She received the gold as well. Everyone did a great job!

Crystal Young, Tony Beinhauer and Josh Hinojosa did a fantastic job coaching the team this year! The athletes, Rebecca, Elijah, Thomas and Rachel, made amazing progress as they practiced weekly over the last few months. Crystal and Tony both have a family member who has an intellectual disability, so they have big hearts for our athletes. Josh will be an amazing athletic coach someday. The team gives a big shout out to our coaches!

Under the direction of our Fundraising genius, Crystal, the team held a successful raffle to raise money to travel to El Paso for Spring Games. Next, we plan to raise money for uniforms and equipment. The team has competed in t-shirts for two years and hopes to have real uniforms this coming season.

The Big Bend Independent Team is currently planning for our second year of bowling in the Fall. Bowling is our most popular sport and is coached by our awesome coaches Crystal and Tony. Again, we ask for your help to make it possible for us to succeed. Independent teams are not connected to a school or organization, so they must raise all their own support and find all their own volunteers. Special Olympics is organized so that the athletes and their families do not have financial barriers or time barriers to participate. This means that the Big Bend Independent Special Olympics Team needs you, our community to help them to continue. They are looking for new coaches so that they can expand our program and add more sports. Volunteers are always needed for providing transportation, and helping with other tasks. They welcome new athletes with intellectual disabilities as well as unified players without disabilities at all levels and ages. Please contact Joyce, the Head of Delegation at 432-294-4028 or stop by the Casner Building Manager’s office to get more information.

Please support Special Athletes!

Our successful bowling team in Austin

Our successful bowling team in Austin

Special Athletes in Alpine are gearing up to travel to El Paso for Spring Games.  They will be competing in basketball, track and golf.  The Gathering Place is selling raffle tickets for $10.00 to raise money to help the athletes travel to El Paso.




The prizes for the raffle are:

1.  A Mini iPad

2. A wreathe of your own choice of decorations

3.  A beautiful painting of Big Bend

To buy a ticket, contact one of our athletes or coaches

Thanks for supporting people with disabilities!

Special Athletes!

The Gathering Place is proud to announce that they are supporting the Big Bend Independent Special Olympics team!  The team recently came back from El Paso where they competed in the Regional Games Bowling competition.

DSC_0210February 5-8, 2015, the team will be traveling to Austin to attend the State Winter Games.

The Gathering Place is helping with transportation costs and new uniforms.  If you would like to donate to the Gathering Place, you will be helping our special athletes!


Attention: Special Olympics Athletes

It looks like our Independent Special Olympics team is ready to get started!!  This will be a team made up of athletes that are not part of the Alpine ISD team… home schoolers, and adults.

An Independent Special Olympics team will include any athletes who meet these qualifications:
To compete in Special Olympics, a person must be at least eight years old. Children at the age of six may begin a training program, but are not able to compete until the age of eight. A person must also be identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following:
Intellectual Disabilities [Mental Retardation].
Closely related development disability, which means having functional limitations in both general learning and in adaptive skills such as recreation, work, independent living, self direction, or self care.
(taken from the website SOTX.org)
Our team will be named “Big Bend Special Olympics” and will be supported by Sul Ross athletes.  Coach Sandra Chambers will be our head coach and students from Sul Ross will be our individual coaches.  We will be starting with bowling this fall and add more sports in the coming seasons.  Eventually, we hope that Sul Ross will be the home of the Big Bend Special Olympic Region serving teams in the Big Bend Area.

First thing we need to do is find our athletes and get them enrolled.  You can access the enrollment forms online at
http://www.sotx.org/docs/forms/athlete-enrollment-form.pdf  or contact Joyce Page at 432-294-4028.  Enrollment does require a physical exam to make sure the athlete is able to participate in sporting events.  We are currently looking for a physician or PA who would be willing to donate thier time for our athlete physicals.

We will have a team meeting on Monday September 23 at 6:00 PM to distribute enrollment forms and to meet the athletes who want to participate.

Interested in Special Olympics?

Adults at the Gathering Place have been working towards an independent Special Olympics team for some time now.  In Alpine, there is a Special Olympics team at the ISD Alpine schools, but that team is not open to anyone who is not enrolled in Alpine ISD.  This means that any adults or homeschoolers who qualify to be in Special Olympics are not able to participate.

Mike Sullivan, of the Austin Special Olympics office has been negotiating with Sul Ross for over a year to allow Alpine to host our own sporting events.  This would mean that athletes from Alpine would not have to travel to compete locally.  Accessibility to other small towns would be easier as well.  SulRoss has been very cooperative and excited to host Special Olympics.  They are willing to not only host events, but also to help with coaching and facilitating the local team!

The Gathering Place will be hosting an interest meeting on May 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm.  If you are interested in participating or volunteering with an Independent Special Olympics team, please join us!  or email gatheringplacealpine@gmail.com