Training for Life Campus

The Training for Life Campus is designed to accommodate training, practice and competitive events for some of SOMO’s most popular sports programs, including a track, tennis courts, softball field, wellness trail, soccer field, and a multi-sport training area, just to name a few. It will offer year-round training opportunities for athletes, coaches and volunteers from throughout Missouri. As a whole, the facility exceeds ADA requirements for safety and accessibility.
In addition, there will be screening rooms staffed by volunteer health professionals as a part of our Health & Wellness Programs to promote our athletes’ overall health and educate our athletes, coaches and families.

Training for Life Programs

Fitness Center
Day Programs
Training for Life Camps (Weekends)
Challenge Days
Sports Camp (Week-long)
Young Athletes at the Campus
Health & Wellness

Day Programs

These 8-week programs are designed to instruct individuals on how to exercise and get fit.

Primary rograms offered are jazz dance/dance fitness, adaptive volleyball, adaptive basketball, adaptive softball, walking, yoga, fitness room workout, dice/yahtzee, corn hole, twister, ladder golf and bocce.


For more information on the Day Programs contact Susan Shaffer.


Training for Life Camps (Weekends)

Training for Life Camps are just that ... TRAINING FOR LIFE through sport, health, wellness and leadership. 

These mini weekend camps offer individuals with intellectual disabilities and Unified Partners the chance to come together on the playing field to learn new sports skills, receive health & wellness programs and learn life skills in their very own home, the Training for Life Campus.

Support an athlete attending a Training for Life Camp.


10. Free T-shirt!
9. Make new friends
8. Free Health Screenings
7. Learn new leadership skills
6. Get Health & Wellness tips
5. Learn a new sport (or 2 or 3!)
4. A weekend out of town with your friends
3. Work out in the fitness center
2. Share your gifts and skills with others
1. Experience the Camp Magic in the Training for Life Campus

TLC Camp Weekend - Unified Sports TBD
TLC Camp Weekend - Softball, Flag Football, Golf, Disc Golf TBD
TLC Camp Weekend - Soccer, Volleyball, Tennis, Bocce TBD
TLC Camp Weekend - Charter Class TBD
TLC Camp Weekend TBD



Challenge Days

Challenge Days are a one-day event that have been designed specifically for the severe and profound population of Special Olympics Missouri. Due to the need to offer more activities to our severe and profound population, it has been a goal of Special Olympics Missouri to expand on our motor skills programs.

While many individuals with mental and physical challenges compete and excel in sports, too many with severe physical challenges miss out on the athletic experience due to the severity of their handicaps, transportation obstacles and activities that don’t meet their specific needs.

Special Olympics Missouri felt that there was a need when it came to providing services for individuals with severe disabilities. Challenge Days are one-day events designed specifically for this population so that they too can experience the joy of being a part of a Special Olympics program.

All activities are modified to meet these special athletes’ needs. For example, on the bocce court, a ramp is used to assist athletes when rolling the ball onto the court. These athletes are given the opportunity to experience the joy of competition and are no longer limited due to their disability.

Challenge Days will consist of various activities in which participants may take part either as an individual or on a team. Each participant is given the opportunity to play sports such as: basketball, volleyball, dice softball, wheelchair races and bocce. Each of these activities has been adapted to meet the needs of severe and profound.

Who is eligible to participate in Challenge Days?

Challenge Days are designed for persons with severe/profound challenges who are not able to compete in a rigorous sport program using objective and universal sports rules.


Health & Wellness at the Training for Life Campus

With the opening of our new Training for Life Campus, we offer additional screenings at our camps. The Diamond Pet Foods Healthy Athletes® wing features 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 program groups. We have expanded to offer Health & Wellness education to athletes, schools, day groups, group homes. Special Olympics Health is made possible by the Golisano Foundation in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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.

Fit 5
A guide to achieving fitness and your personal best with physical activity, nutrition, and hydration. Fit 5 aims to improve athlete health through a routine of exercising five times per week, eating fruits and vegetables five times per day, and drinking five bottles of water per day. Click here to learn more about this cirriculum offered at the Training for Life Campus. Contact Meagan Davis for more information. 

Fitness Center

The Ben and David Landesman Corridor houses the Fitness Center, which is available free of charge for Special Olympics athletes, parents and staff. First time users must set up an orientation session with Susan Shaffer

Hours: M-F, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Training for Life Campus Fitness Center  Training for Life Campus Fitness Center


Sports Camp

June 22-25, 2020
Online at Facebook: Special Olympics Missouri Sports Camp
Cost: FREE and open to EVERYONE -- We have decided to take our annual Sports Camp and turn it into a virtual affair in 2020. We will have more details as they become available, but for now, "like" this page on Facebook and you'll get updates once we have them.
The schedule for Virtual Sports Camp is below. We have a mixture of pre-recorded sports lessons and live Zoom hangouts scheduled all week. Even if you can't join us for the sessions lives each day, you can always go to the Special Olympics Missouri Sports Camp Facebook page and watch all of the past sessions.
Quick links:
Watch past sessions


Topic: Session date: Link:
Volleyball: Serving June 22 Watch me!
Tennis: Basic skills June 22 Watch me!
Flag football: Route running/flag pulling June 22 Watch me!
Cycling: Parts of the bike/helmet fitting June 22 Watch me!
Arts & Crafts: Make your own stress ball June 22 Watch me!
Disc golf: Basics/Driver June 23 Watch me!
Soccer: Dribbling/Turning/Passing June 23 Watch me!
Bocce: Rules/Modifications June 23 Watch me!
Pickleball: Set-up/Forehand/Backhand June 23 Watch me!
Arts & Crafts: Make your own spinner June 23 Watch me!
Volleyball: Bumping/setting June 24 Watch me!
Tennis: Forehand/backhand/serving June 24 Watch me!
Flag Football: Agility drills June 24 Watch me!
Cycling: Rules of the Road/slow race June 24 Watch me!
Arts & Crafts: Wind socks June 24 Watch me!
Disc golf: Mid-range/putting June 25 Watch me!
Bocce: Game strategy June 25 Watch me!
Soccer: Juggling/goalkeeping June 25 Watch me!
Pickleball: Rules/serving June 25 Watch me!
Arts & Crafts: Rock painting June 25 Watch me!
Health & Wellness: Endurance/Hydration June 26 Watch me!
Health & Wellness: Strength June 26 Watch me!
Health & Wellness: Flexibility/Balance June 26 Watch me!
Health & Wellness: Nutrition June 26 Watch me!
Health & Wellness: Cooking with Lynn June 26 Watch me!


In 1997, Special Olympics Missouri created a week-long sports camp. The camp occurs in June of each year. Athletes enjoy the usual summer camp experience while gaining important independent life and social skills, practicing current sports skills and learning new ones, and giving them a chance to spread their wings in a friendly and encouraging environment. 
-Registration free to attend $200
-A Limited amount of camp scholarships are available. An application must be filled out in order to show qualification for a scholarships.
-Sports Camp provides an intensive training program for Special Olympics Missouri athletes across the state. Athletes will walk up to 5miles every day
-Primary sports offered are swimming, track and field, basketball, bocce, golf, softball, tennis and volleyball.
Special Olympics coaches and athletes who would like to attend Sports Camp must complete a Camp Application
Athletes of all skill levels are welcome from beginners to advanced athletes.
Athletes will be grouped with other athletes from across the state. 
If you have any questions
please contact Susan Shaffer
Mail application 
711 W McCarthy
Jefferson City 65101
Email application


Regular Physical activity is vital for good physical, social and emotional health.  While there is a risk of injury with any type of physical activity, the benefits of staying active far outweigh the risks.
You can reduce your risk of exercise injury by:
• Wearing the right shoes
• Using the correct equipment
• Drinking lots of water-stay hydrated
• Warming up and stretching properly
• Be aware of our surroundings-exercise in a safe and level area clear of any obstacles or items
• Maintain social distancing rules when exercising

Stop exercising immediately and seek medical help if you experience symptoms such as:
• Discomfort or pain 
• Chest pain or other pain that could indicate a heart attack, including pain in the neck and jaw, pain traveling down the arm or pain between the shoulder blades
• Extreme breathlessness
• A very rapid or irregular heartbeat during exercise




Young Athletes at the Campus

In early 2007, Special Olympics created this pilot program to reach out to children with intellectual disabilities ages 3 to 7, and to welcome them and their families to the Special Olympics movement.

Through Young Athletes, volunteers introduce young children to the world of sport, with the goal of preparing them for Special Olympics Missouri sports training and competition at age 8. The program focuses on the basics that are crucial to cognitive development: physical activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination, and the application of these physical skills through sports skills programs. 

More than 250 children are currently participating in the Young Athletes program throughout Missouri. For many of their families, this is their first introduction to Special Olympics and the resources and support we offer for children (and adults) with intellectual disabilities. We are already seeing positive results from helping these children improve physically, cognitively and socially.

To learn more about the Young Athletes programs in your area, contact your area director.  For more information, resources or material on the Young Athletes initiative please visit

Social and communications development

Improved social skills are another inspiring reason parents enroll their children in SOMO Young Athletes. The confidence boost makes it easier for them to interact with other children on the playground, whether or not they have intellectual disabilities.

Reports from parents are encouraging, and the science looks promising, too. Preliminary findings from a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts suggest that participation in Young Athletes may lead to improvements in motor development, social and emotional development and communication development.

The program made its global debut in fall 2007 at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China.


Program goals

This program is designed to address two specific levels of play. Level 1 includes physical activities focused on developing fundamental motor tracking and eye-hand coordination.  Level 2 concentrates on the application of these physical activities through a sports skills activity program and developing skills consistent with Special Olympics sports play.  The activities will consist of foundational skills, walking & running, balance, and jumping, trapping & catching, throwing, striking, kicking and advanced skills.

Quick Links:

Young Athletes Equipment
Young Athletes Activity Guide
Young Athletes Resources

Quick Links

Athlete's Oath

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."  


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