The mission of Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of well-coached Olympic-type sports for individuals with intellectual disabilities. We are a local program of SOMA, and were setup in 2006 by volunteers. In addition to adults providing the organization and coaching, we have our local high school and middle school students helping up as partners and assistant coaches. Our base is Westford, and the athletes that participate with us as from Westford and the neighboring towns, such as Chelmsford, Carlisle, etc.
NVSO has four main sports that we provide (subject to volunteer and facility availability), with occasional other activities. Soccer is in the fall, basketball in the winter, swimming in the spring, and track & field in the late spring. Typically we organize 6-8 events in Westford or other surrounding towns, and often we also send those athletes that are interested to the annual State Games for each event. The youngest age for our athletes is 6, and we go up to 18, sometimes older.
The events are put on at no cost to the athletes. We do require a standard Special Olympics medical form to be completed prior to any participation, which can be found on our Athlete Information page.
There are a couple of options that we are aware of for athletes too young to participate in our events (under 8).
In Westford, the Roudenbush Community Center runs some programs for younger special needs kids, you may find something there that is suitable.
There is also a Special Olympics program called Young Athletes, which is a program to reach out to children with intellectual disabilities ages 2 to 7, and to welcome them and their families to the Special Olympics movement. Through Young Athletes, young children are introduced to the world of sport, with the goal of preparing them for Special Olympics sports training and competition when they get older. 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.
Although NVSO does not put on Young Athletes activities, these can be done at home. More information can be found at www.specialolympics.org/
Some of the other Special Olympic programs in Massachusetts may have events for under 6′s, you can find out where these programs are from the Special Olympics of Massachusetts website, www.specialolympicsma.org, and going to the “In Your Town” section.
We hope you find the above useful.