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.

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!

//

Big Bend Special Olympics Team Update

We are off and running… or should I say… off and swimming, dribbling and driving!

Golfing with Layla and Rebecca

Golfing with Layla and Rebecca

Aquatics with Rachel and Rebecca

Aquatics with Rachel and Rebecca

Basketball with Rachel, Rebecca, Layla and Elijah

Basketball with Rachel, Rebecca, Layla and Elijah

A newly formed Special Olympics team is now available for adults in the Big Bend area. The Big Bend Independent Special Olympics Team provides opportunities for young adults with disabilities to continue competing in Special Olympic events after they leave high school. The new team is open to those who are no longer eligible for the ISD team, and also to home schoolers or anyone else who would like to participate.

Athletes are already in training to compete in aquatics, golf and basketball skills.

The aquatics competition will be held at the William Cowan Pool on Sat. April 5 in El Paso. Athletes are currently training at the Sul Ross Pool, Fridays at 5pm.

Special Olympics athletes will also compete in golf. The tournament will be held at the Underwood Golf Course, Sat. April 26, from 9am – 3pm. at Fort Bliss in El Paso. Athletes train on Tuesdays, at 1pm, at the Alpine Country Club.

Athletes will compete in basketball skills, and will be working on 3-on-3, half court matches. The Basketball Individual Skills Competition will be held at the Montwood High School Gym in El Paso.

Special Olympics provides an opportunity for athletes to make friends, stay healthy and learn more about their favorite sports.

Rachel and Becky are two of the participating athletes who are training in the basketball program.

“I’m living my dreams” said Becky. “If I can do it, you can too! I love it! I’ve made new friends,” she said.

“Win State! We can do it,” Rachel said emphatically.

These feelings are not limited to the athletes. Coach Josh Hinojosa loves to see the joy and excitement on athlete’s faces. Coach Steph Bohanna agrees, “I love working with the kids,” she said. “I love their heart and dedication.”

The head of the delegation for the Special Olympic Team is Joyce Page, a local businesswoman who founded The Gathering Place and spear-headed this new effort.

“I hope we provide a lifelong community event,” she said. “We are off to a good start. Our athletes are part of our community and it is heartwarming to see the community of Alpine step up and be a part of the lives of our Special Olympic athletes.

Volunteer coaches for all the events include Jim Hector, Julie Obbink, John Maxwell, Rocky Feliciano, Francisco Atkinson, Josh Hinojosa, Steph Bohanna, Sandra Chambers and many Sul Ross University student athletes.

Sul Ross and the Alpine Country Club were eager to help the new team get started. They provided practice space for athletes and volunteer coaches.

Donations for the new team can be made to Special Olympics FBO, The Big Bend Independent Special Olympics Team.  Drop off, or mail donations to, 301 W. Holland Ave. Alpine Tx. 79830. (Livin My Dreams locked mail box)

To volunteer with the Special Olympics Team, contact Joyce Page at 432-294-4028.