Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

March 5, 2013

Special Olympics plan for summer and look for volunteers

Tess Rowing
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — During the Special Olympics of Decatur County regularly scheduled board meeting, plans were made for the summer Special Olympics, and the board debated the best way to find a public relations coordinator.

The Special Olympics plan on booking a 57-passenger bus for the Summer Olympics. Previously, there was no limit to summer participants, but if athletes cannot obtain transportation by their own means a limit may be implemented.

Three basketball practices are scheduled until sectionals. Coach Randy Malone requested that the caregivers of athletes start staying to watch the individual they are assigned, instead of leaving the practice area.

Treasurer Connie Lawrence, revealed that despite worry that the Special Olympics would not have enough income last year, a slight profit was made. Lawrence attributed the positive treasury to two new fund-raisers which had never been held in previous years.

Assistant coordinator Jenny Maddux spoke at length about encouraging special needs clients to join the Special Olympics. Because of regulations, the Special Olympics may not actively recruit individuals, and the board also expressed concern that there may be a stigma against becoming involved.

Maddux said she would like to see younger children join. Other board members mentioned that special needs clients may not show physical discrepancies before high school, which may be why there is lower participation from young children.

“We need someone to encourage the youth program, to get them involved before they’re eight years old,” said coach Malone.

The need for a public relations coordinator was discussed, though the board admitted being unsure how to obtain such a person.

A public relations coordinator would share information with the school systems, said Maddux, make fliers, and generally be the “go-to guy” for people looking for information.

“There’s a lack of knowledge,” said Maddux, who wants caregivers and clients to know that special needs clients do not have to stop playing sports after junior high, when sports become more competitive.

Currently the Special Olympics accepts athletes “eight to infinity,” and are always looking for volunteers to help organize and cover events.

Questions can be directed to Jenny Maddux at 812-663-4690

Contact: Tess Rowing 812-663-3111 x7004