Uncategorized Stories

Saneatha Trice Breaks down Barriers Beyond Sport


 

Saneatha has been a participant with Special Olympics Illinois through PTOEC since 2014. She began in gymnastics and quickly added bowling, swimming, softball, volleyball, and basketball. We quickly realized how athletic she was and how sports became her passion. But her love of sports was not what caught our attention. Saneatha almost instantly became a social being amongst her peers making friends quickly from near and far, which was something I never thought possible since she has always been someone who stays to herself. 

Saneatha has quite the collection of medals from the past few years of competitions. She has been to state competitions in Bloomington for Gymnastics and Basketball, Decatur for Softball, and Rockford for Volleyball. Her most memorable moments were from 2018 and 2019.  During this time, she participated in the Belleville Polar Plunge, Summer Games, Outdoor Sports Festival, State Basketball, and Fall Games. She also participated in Gymnastics at the 2018 USA Games in Seattle, WA bringing home 5 gold medals! Saneatha met a tremendous amount of people during her stay at USA Games from celebrities to other athletes to many fans. I remember telling her to hold on to these moments and cherish them because it would probably never happen again. However, just a few short months after returning home we received a call inviting her to the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi as a level 4 gymnast for Team USA!

Traveling to the Middle East was never on her bucket list, but Special Olympics Illinois, once again, found a way to show her what she was missing. During this trip, Saneatha and the rest of Team USA left a few days earlier than families to learn and enjoy the customs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi before having the jitters of competition. It was this trip that made everything come together for us as parents and her as an athlete. As we sat at Opening Ceremonies watching the parade of athletes from all around the world, I finally realized my child who has struggled with acceptance, learning, speaking, socializing – this list can go on and on – is truly happy on the inside and out. She walked in that parade like she owned the place! During awards, she was thrilled to just be there, but when the last medal was announced for her division she began to cry. She realized she placed 1st in the world in the Vault competition. She received 3 bronze, a 4th place ribbon, and her Gold. This was her moment along with thousands of others.

During the fantastic and unbelievable year of 2018, Special Olympics was also celebrating their 50th year anniversary. Saneatha wanted to go to Chicago for the event, but we were unable to attend due to the hectic schedule the year brought us and USA Games just days before the 50th celebrations. We still celebrated within ourselves and said a silent thank you for the young lady this wonderful organization has helped her become. We now look at sports as a way for people to come together, lift others up, and celebrate the victories of life instead of dwelling on the defeats.

-Samantha’s parents, Robert and Tara Edwards

 


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Congratulations to Jose Moreno: 2019 Niles North Distinguished Alumnus Award Recipient


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each year, Niles North High School recognizes one alumnus for their outstanding contributions beyond their high school career. Jose Moreno, Niles North Alumni, and Special Olympics Illinois athlete was selected as the 2019 recipient.

The award was presented by Dr. James B. Edwards, Principal of Niles North High School. Jose was chosen by the Alumni Associate upon review of the recommendations from both staff and the community. The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes an outstanding Niles North graduate who exemplifies courage, determination, and the will to push past adversity. Jose portrays all of these qualities.

Jose got his start with Special Olympics Illinois in 2009 when he began competing in basketball. Over the last several years he has been victorious in floor hockey, golf, bocce, softball, volleyball, and his current favorite, bowling. Jose also serves as an athlete leader where he has the opportunity to share his story with the community.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award. It means so much to me to be recognized for my talents beyond my disability,” says Jose Moreno, 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient.

“I am so proud that I am teaching other students that your disability does not stop you from following your dreams, including applying for the distinguished alumnus award!”

Jose attributes his success to the extraordinary staff at Niles North High School and his life-changing experiences as a Special Olympics Illinois athlete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Culvers ButterBurgers & Badges Location Request


 

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Summer Games


 
WHEN: June 7, 2019 – June 9, 2019 all-day
WHERE: Various Locations in Bloomington/Normal, IL
CONTACT: Nate Henry 309-888-2551 nhenry@soill.org

Important 2019 Summer Games Scheduling Update:

Please note that there have been changes to the 2019 State Summer Games Schedule:

Special Olympics Illinois will have access to Normal West High School on Saturday, June 8th and Sunday, June 9th.

This will affect the sports of Rhythmic Gymnastics and Swimming.  Athletes will compete in those sports on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday June, 9.

We are currently working on general start and finish times for each day as we will need to set up on Saturday morning as well.

Please see below under Supporting Documents for the memo including the tentative schedule.

What is Summer Games?

Summer Games is Special Olympics Illinois premiere sports competition with more than  4,000 athletes and Unified Partners competing in 6 different sports, along with 1,600 coaches, 2,000 volunteers and 3,300 family members. That totals almost 11,000 people who attend Summer Games annually! The Summer Games are held predominately at Illinois State University in Normal. A variety of activities are provided for the participants in addition to the sports competitions.

Venues

2014 Summer Games Gymnastics

  • Kingsley Jr. High
    • Powerlifting
  • ISU Intramural Fields
    • Soccer
  • Illinois State University
    • Artistic Gymnastics (Horton Field House)
    • Bocce (Soccer Stadium)
    • Softball Throw (U-High Practice Field)
    • Tennis Ball Throw & Mini Jav (Hancock Stadium)
    • Track Events (ISU Track)
    • Tournament Central (Horton Field House)
  • Normal West High School
    • Rhythmic Gymnastics
    • Swimming
  • Redbird Arena
    • Healthy Athletes
    • Health Pavilion

Competition

Competition will be offered in athletics, bocce, Unified bocce, gymnastics, football (soccer), powerlifting and swimming (aquatics). Athletes can not participate in more than one sport.  Athletes registered in bocce may only compete in traditional bocce or Unified bocce (not both) and athletes registered for gymnastics may only compete in artistic or rhythmic (not both).

The public is invited and encouraged to attend any and all parts of Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games.

Volunteer

We have many volunteer opportunities available during Summer Games and need the help of over 2,000 volunteers to help make this event a success. We are using online registration to help streamline this process for everyone involved. The weekend is split into morning and afternoon shifts for both Friday and Saturday and morning shifts for Sunday. We also have volunteer opportunities available at the SOILL office Monday-Wednesday the week of Summer Games.

When volunteer registration is open just click on one of the buttons below for the day/time you are interested in.  If you have used our online system before, you just need to sign in and select the job and shift you are interested in. If you have not used our system before, it will ask you to answer a few questions to create your profile before you can select your job and shift.

If you are interested in volunteering for multiple days/times you do not have to come back to this page or log out. Once you sign up for your first shift you should see a list of all our current volunteer opportunities on the SOILL Event Registration Page. You simply need to find the next day/time, select register and select your job and shift. If you have any questions, please contact Nate Henry or Aubrey Deerwester. 

Volunteer Mon-Wed

Volunteer Friday - AM   Volunteer Friday - PM

Volunteer Sat. - AM    Volunteer Sat. - PM

Volunteer Sunday

Parking

Everyone must obey parking regulations since summer school will be in session at ISU and employees will be reporting to work. Approved parking lots are shown below.

  1. No parking in lots designated for faculty and staff (identified by red signs) except for Lots M83, U83 and F83S.
  2. No parking in spaces marked “Reserved.”
  3. Car parking will be allowed in Lots F62, F64, G24, G53, G73, G81, G83, G86, G87, G91, and S67.
  4. If you park at a meter, you must feed it.
  5. Cars parked in lots not approved for Special Olympics may be ticketed. Tickets will be the responsibility of the owner. Be aware that ISU may tow illegally parked cars.
  6. Parking will also be available at Kingsley Jr. High.
  7. Special Olympics will operate a park & ride shuttle from Fairview Aquatics Park, 800 N. Main Street, Normal, IL.
    Hours of operation: Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm and Saturday: 8:00am – 4:00pm

Tentative Competition Times

All times listed below are tentative and subject to change once event specific schedules are determined. Times only reflect actual competition times and do not include time frames for coach meetings, weigh-in times, etc. For a final schedule please check the Supporting Documents section close to competition day.

Photo by Rich Howe

Artistic Gymnastics

  • Friday, Afternoon
  • Saturday, All Day

Athletics

  • Friday, Afternoon
  • Saturday, All Day
  • Sunday, Morning

Bocce

  • Friday, Afternoon
  • Saturday, All Day

Powerlifting

  • Friday, Afternoon
  • Saturday, All Day
  • Sunday, Morning

Rhythmic Gymnastics

  • Saturday, All Day
  • Sunday, Morning

Soccer

  • Friday, Afternoon
  • Saturday, All Day

Swimming (Aquatics)

  • Saturday, All Day
  • Sunday, Morning

 

Healthy Athletes

Healthy AthletesThe Healthy Athletes program offers health services and education to athletes, coaches and families in need. Athletes are encouraged to attend this FREE event! Healthy Athletes is located in Redbird Arena on the lower level concourse. All screenings are free and open to all Special Olympics athletes whether competing or not.

This year we are offering the following screenings:

  • Opening Eyes vision screenings – Friday: Noon – 4pm; Saturday: 8am – 4pm
  • Healthy Hearing screenings – Friday: Noon – 4pm; Saturday: 9am – 4pm
  • FunFitness physical therapy screenings – Saturday: 9am – 3pm
  • Health Pavilion – Olympic Town – Friday: Noon – 3pm; Saturday: 9am – 3pm

Youth Leadership Experience

The Youth Leadership Experience is a 2 –Day experience during Summer Games where you will learn event management skills, social media and marketing, have a volunteer shadow experience and help make the games successful.  We are looking for 15 Leaders that are interested in participating. You will help in leading a Young Athletes event, shadow members of staff and key volunteers in area of interest and help with media promotion at the event.  This is an awesome opportunity for youth ages 14-25 with and without disabilities to be part of this significant event and learn skills that will help throughout your lifetime. There is no cost to participate in the Youth Leadership Experience, however you are responsible for your own transportation to and from Summer Games.

CLICK HERE to apply for the 2019 Summer Games Youth Leadership Experience.

Young Athletes

Young Athletes from around the state enjoyed running, jumping, kicking, socializing and so much more during the 2019 Summer Games; we want you to be able to be a part of this year’s exciting events!

We have over 100 spots reserved for Young Athletes of all ages for the Statewide Culminating Event on Friday. Spots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis! If you are interested in attending, please complete a registration form and return it to the Special Olympics office.

Young Athletes 6 & 7 years of age, with a valid medical application, also have the opportunity to choose between two transitional exhibitions. The 50-meter race (10 a.m. Saturday), tennis ball throw (12:20 p.m. Saturday) and individual soccer skills  (1 p.m. Saturday) will be held on Saturday (times are tentative). To take part in the transitional exhibitions Young Athletes must have a valid Medical Application and can register for only one – athletics or soccer skills. As always, there will be a pizza party, Opening Ceremony, Olympic town, dance and so much other fun to join in!

Family Activities

Summer Games - Family

Families are an integral part of Special Olympics Illinois and of the Summer Games. These proud supporters are seen in the stands, on the sidelines, serving as games committee and coaches. Regardless of your role, families are welcomed and celebrated  for your support and enthusiasm for the athletes and Special Olympics Illinois.

Families attending the Summer Games should make their first stop at the Family Registration and Information area at either ISU or Normal West High School to pick up your Games Guide, free Family Tailgate picnic tickets and welcome gift. There are a lot of other things to see here too, including a free raffle for some cool Special Olympics gear, event flyers and of course info to help you navigate and fully experience the Summer Games. So please stop by and let us know you are at the Games.

The Family Registration and Information  area is located in the lower northeast corner of Horton Fieldhouse and at Normal West Community High School and is open on Friday from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Opening Ceremony

2014 Summer Games Opening CeremoniesOpening Ceremony is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, at Hancock Stadium. In true pomp and ceremony during the Parade of Athletes representatives from the agencies (selected athletes and coaches) parade into the stadium in the best of Olympic tradition. Then please remove your caps and place your hands over your hearts for the National Anthem. Finally, to top off this spectacular event, is the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run where the officers pair with athletes to carry the torch along its final route and light the cauldron holding the Flame of Hope to kick off the Games!

Hy-Vee Uptown Victory Dance

The Hy-Vee Uptown Victory Dance will be held in Uptown Normal from 7:00-8:30 p.m. Saturday. The dance gives the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois a chance to celebrate their accomplishments and to socialize with others from around the state in addition to members of the community. Old friends will catch up and new friends will be made. The smiles and joy of the athletes are a testament to how Special Olympics Illinois helps transform lives.

Souvenirs

Minerva Promotions is selling souvenirs at ISU in the North Gym from 9:00 am-4:00 pm on Friday and 9:00 am-4:00 pm on Saturday, at Normal West High School on Saturday only from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm and during the Victory Dance on Saturday.  You can purchase all your Special Olympics Illinois and Summer Games specific swag at these locations.  For an additional fee, many items can be personalized at the ISU North Gym location.

Minerva Promotions accepts cash and all major credit cards except American Express.   After the event, if you were unable to buy an item at the Games then you can purchase what is left over from the event at https://www.minervapromotions.com/stores/soill/illinois/summer-games.html  or go to the Special Olympics Illinois website and follow the link to the Minerva Promotions Online Store and order your items on-line.

Avoid the Lines this Year:  Minerva Promotions is offering pre-event sales.  Click here to go directly to the online store.  You can preorder your items and then just pick them up at Summer Games to avoid the lines and shipping costs.

There will be a Sale Table at the North Gym venue.  The sale table will have a separate line and items must be paid for separately.  The Sale Table accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card and American Express.

Other Activities

 

  • HOSPITALITY AREA AND COOLING CENTER – NEW LOCATION – An American Legion & Auxiliary Hospitality Area has moved to the concourse of Hancock Stadium.  This is a covered area so it will provide a welcome relief from the sun.   Athletes, families and coaches are welcome from 10:30 am – 3:00 pm for both Friday and Saturday. Refreshments including fresh fruit, vegetable trays and fruit juices are served courtesy of the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliaries of Illinois. The Hospitality Area provides snacks; it does not serve meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner meals are available for registered athletes and coaches at the dining room in their assigned residence hall.
  • Law Enforcement Torch Run – Torch Run Central will serve as a resource center during this year’s events and will coordinate all Law Enforcement activities including awarding medals. The tent is located directly across from volunteer registration and is open from 9am-3pm Sat.
  • Olympic Town – Located on the Turner parking lot it provides numerous carnival games, displays, entertainment and various fun activities. It is open from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  on Saturday.
  • Special Activities – Several other opportunities are underway possibly including the Fairview Park Pool & Waterslide and Miller Park Zoo. Check back closer to Summer Games and look for fliers in your registration packet.

Weather

Special Olympics Illinois is adding a texting service for events.  Individuals need to register themselves. During Summer Games, if weather or other issues cause schedule changes then we can quickly update registered individuals via this texting service.  Please share this information with family and friends attending Summer Games.  Information from registered individuals will only be used for the 2019 Summer Games and will not be retained for other purposes or events.

In case of inclement weather, schedule changes or cancellations check the website here for updates. You can also call 309-888-2000 Ext. 245

To register for Summer Games text service, text the message Summer2019 to 77453.  You will receive a confirmation message.


Visit the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website for information on lodging and activities in Bloomington-Normal.

Supporting Documents

2019 Summer Games Results

**2019 Powerlifting Final Schedule

2019 Schedule Housing And Dining Memo

2019 Summer Games Master Schedule

2019 Summer Games Housing List

2019 Summer Games Shuttle Bus Map

2019 Head Coaches Meeting Schedule

2019 Summer Games DQ Reminders

2019 Summer Games Event Handbook Memo

2019 Summer Games Event Handbook with Shuttle Map

2019 Summer Games Event Handbook – MOBILE FRIENDLY

2019 Summer Games Interactive Souvenirs Flyer

2019 Important Summer Games Memo

2019 Summer Games Press Release

Torch Run Press Release Final Leg 2019

Family Information

Summer Games Family Information CORRECTED

Summer Games Hotel List 2019

Specials & Coupons