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The Future of Health & Wellness at Special Olympics Missouri

As 2018 comes to an end, we look back on the growth and future of Health & Wellness at Special Olympics Missouri.

1,792 Health Screenings were offered at three state games, two Area Spring Games and our first camp at our new Training for Life Campus.

  • Fit Feet:  3 State Games & 297 screenings
  • Healthy Hearing:  3 State Games & 303 screenings
  • Health Promotion: 3 State Game, 1 camp & 283 screenings
  • Special Smiles: 3 State Games & 2 Area Games & 513 screenings
  • Opening Eyes:  1 State Games & 102 screenings
  • Fun Fitness:  3 State Games & 251 screenings
  • MedFest:  1 State Game & 45 physicals

With the opening of our new Training for Life Campus, we will be able to offer additional screenings at our camps. We have four exam rooms:  Special Smiles, Opening Eyes, Fit Feet/Health Promotions, Healthy Hearing with a Hearing Booth. This will allow us to see new athletes and open the doors to those with disabilities in group homes and day groups. We have expanded to offer Health & Wellness education to athletes, schools, day groups, group homes.

Building Partnerships with businesses /individuals in the community & around the state to support our health mission & goals for our SOMO Athletes

There are opportunities from those in the community to partner with us to bring health screenings, nutrition, and education to the athletes. To grow, we need partners to help us sustain the program, by providing funding, resources and people. Thank you to these initial following Health Partners for their support and believing in our mission: Golisano Foundation, Jefferson City Medical Group, Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Missouri Care and The Smile Nation. Please contact Carol Griffin to learn more about how you can help us grow our program.

To excel in sports, athletes need to be healthy, so we will offer health screenings, referrals, and health education for their needs. To help grow our health training program, we will recruit medical partners to lead the screenings and health education for our athletes. Another goal is to establish partnerships with universities, schools and day groups, to educate and create a world of inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.

Two SOMO athletes, Lynna Hodgson and Lynn Shuffit, attended a conference in Washington D.C. to be trained as Health Messengers for SOMO. The athletes will help spread health and wellness information to their fellow athletes and get the message out that leading a healthy life is a good thing. Read a blog post from Lynna Hodgson about the experience.

We offered three health classes during the Athlete Leadership Program Universities: Lifetime Health & Fitness, Exercise Science 101 andHealth Ambassador.

Health & Wellness

Special Olympics Missouri is excited to take health and wellness to the next level for our athletes. We want our athletes to thrive in each area of their lives and plan to help them do so by ensuring they receive inclusive health opportunities. Athletes will receive nutritional, physical, social, & emotional programs statewide.

We have fully comprehensive health and wellness curriculum and programs to work with public schools. At our TLC campus, we will not only be offering health and wellness programming during camps, but also separate classes for day programs to attend such as cooking classes, grocery shopping 101, workout Wednesdays, Mindfulness/yoga & much more.

We are on a mission to offer these programs statewide to those with intellectual disabilities and are working to develop the partnerships to do so. We also would like to take unified approaches in this is developing unified fitness clubs statewide, which would consist of those from the community partnering or developing small groups and committing to working out together at least 1-2 times a week. Six-week minimum programs are our goal as we really want to be able to educate, implement, and sustain those healthy lifestyle changes!