The sounds of basketballs bouncing, balls swishing through hoops, and balls being passed topartners could be heard in the Chrin Center Gymnasium. There were 25-30 athletespracticing their dribbling, passing, and shooting skills each Thursday afternoon for 8 weeks inMarch and April. Spot shooting, serpentine dribbling through cones, give and gos, keepaway, and 3 vs. 3 were just a few of the drills they worked on each week.It was great to see the improvement they made week to week. They worked on 3 basic skillsthat were tested at the start of the training, throughout the training,and at the end of thetraining for the FIT 5 Program. This enabled us to see the improvements they were makingand the goals they were meeting. Our athletes also learned how to take the skills theylearned to play in a 3 vs 3 game. They were able to work together with teammates to pass,shoot, rebound, and play defense.Ten athletes participated in the VIA Shoot Out at NCACC on March 31. They played two 3 vs 3games in the big court in front of a large crowd. Senior All-Stars from the Lehigh Valley werepresent and cheered for our athletes during their games. The highlight of the day for most ofour athletes was getting interviewed by Service Electric TV! They were asked questionsabout how they like playing in front of a large crowd and how they like being there with allthe Lehigh Valley Sr All-Stars! There were smiles galore on all of our athletes faces!For the first time, seven of our athletes participated in a Special Olympic BasketballCompetition at Moravian College on April 22! They played three games against teams fromBethlehem and Lehigh Counties in a 3 vs 3 competition. All of the teams we played againsthave competed at Kutztown and Penn State, and our team did an outstanding job against thestiff competition! This was a great learning experience for our athletes and for the coaches.But the best part of the day was seeing all the smiles, high fives, and hugs between theathletes; the pizza they served after the games wasn’t too bad either! Looking forward tonext year and seeing what our athletes will accomplish!
The Northampton County Equestrians are braving the continuing cold weather and are back in the saddle for the 6th year. Ten riders train weekly to improve their skills in preparation for our Local Horse Show on May 22nd . The show will begin at 5pm at Equilibrium, 524 Fehr Road, Nazareth PA. Come cheer us on! Riders are also working to improve overall fitness through the Special Olympic Fit 5 Program.
On June 5th, 2018, We would like to invite all NCSO athletes and their families to join FreeFall Trampoline Park as they celebrate local Pennsylvania Special Olympics Participants from Carbon, Monroe, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties. FreeFall has invited other organizations focusing on those with special needs to be also attend and show support. Many of the guests who regularly attend Special Needs Nights are excited about the idea of meeting more local Special Olympic Competitors.
The student group “Easton’s Angels” from Easton Area High School has shown NCSO tremendous support over the years. On April 23rd, representatives from Easton’s Angels stopped by the NCSO committee meeting to present NCSO with a check for $3,500. WOW! The group organizes and hosts several fundraisers throughout the year to raise funds. We are grateful to the students of Easton High School for this generous donation. We commend them for all of their hard work and their steadfast support!
A big thank you to Helen Capparell for representing NCSO at the 2018 Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run at Penn State University. The event which boasted more than 3,500 runners and walkers was held on Blue and White Weekend. The course took participants around Penn State’s Scenic campus and ended with runners going through the Beaver Stadium Tunnel and crossing the finish line at the 50 yard line!
Easton's Angels will be hosting a Designer Bingo night on Sunday March 18, 2018 at Easton Area High School Cafeteria. Doors will open at 10:00am and the event will start at noon. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. *Ticket entitles you to 20 regular games. There will also be tricky trays, 50/50, raffle and door prizes. The event will feature products from Coach, Vera Bradley, Michael Kors, Kate Spade and more! All proceeds will go to Northampton County Special Olympics and the Miracle League of Northampton County. For tickets or information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Sam 484-626-3195.
Thank you to all of the many people involved in making the 2018 Lehigh Valley Polar Plunge a success. 455 brave people took the plunge into the Delaware Rivera at Scott Park in Easton, PA. So far, the event has raised nearly $83,000 for Special Olympics Pennsylvania. The funds NCSO receives from this event are essentially to us providing all of our programming throughout the year and taking athletes to competitions. We sure were "Freezin' for a Reason"!
Plunge in the News
Click on a picture for some great photos/videos of plunge day!
The 41st Annual Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Winter Games were held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion, PA from January 28 th -30 th . Eight NCSO athletes competed in the Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom and Super G events. Training for these events began in early January at Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Palmerton, PA. Each week, the NCSO ski team worked hard to improve their skills for competition. Coaches worked with athletes on turns, speed control, body placement and maneuvering through gates. At Winter Games, athletes put these skills to the test against Special Olympic athletes from across the state. Everyone tried their hardest and were “brave in their attempts.” In between competition, athletes had a lot of fun seeing a firework display, attending the victory dance and playing games at Olympic Village. At the awards ceremony, NCSO athletes were rewarded with 10 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze and 3 fourth place. Congratulations to all the athletes and their coaches!
Bowling HS North took place on January 25, 2018 at Blue Valley Lanes in Wind Gap. Sixteen classes attended and all the participants had a great time!! The classes included, Pocono Mtn East and West, Stroudsburg, Bangor, Colonial Academy, and East Stroudsburg. Everyone bowled their one game and received ribbons during the awards ceremony. Our top bowlers, male and female in each category; using no bumpers, using bumpers, and using a ramp w/bumpers, each received a trophy! A special thanks to all the supervisors for coming out to support our athletes!! Also, a very special thank you to Linda & Amanda for all their hard work on making sure all the medicals are up to date which allows our athletes to continue to participate and have an amazing time!
Mark your calendar for March 7th, 2018! Spread the Word to End the Word is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Best Buddies and our supporters to inspire respect and acceptance through raising the consciousness of society about the R-word and how hurtful and disrespectful words can be toward people with intellectual disabilities. The campaign, created by youth, is intended to engage schools, organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support at www.r-word.org and to promote the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The annual day of awareness is held the first Wednesday of March. While most activities are centered on or near that annual day in March, people everywhere can help spread the word throughout their communities and schools year-round through pledge drives, youth rallies and online activation.
We started off the school year with our Fitness Program. The athletes learned about the FIT 5 program. This is a new program launched by SOPA to teach athletes how to achieve fitness and their personal best with physical activity, nutrition, and hydration. We averaged 10 athletes participating in this program and each week they logged how many times they exercised,if they were able to eat 5 fruits and vegetables, and drink 5 bottles of water on a daily basis. Our athletes learned that exercise, nutrition, and hydration are very important factors in their physical fitness development. They worked on different areas of fitness each training session in a fun and engaging atmosphere. Fitness Bingo , tag games, free dance, and our outdoor fitness walk were popular activities that improved cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, and muscle endurance. Our group is really looking forward to the fitness path being completed at the Chrin Center, so we can get together for fun power walks in the near future.
October brought the sounds of sticks moving across the floor and pucks flying into goals at the Chrin Center. There are 15 -20 athletes that are learning how to dribble, pass, and shoot during our floor hockey training sessions. We are also learning about Fit 5. Fit 5 will help each athlete focus on living a healthier lifestyle and will make our athletes perform better. Here is how it works. We encourage athletes to eat 5 fruits and/or vegetables a day, drink 5 glasses of water a day and exercise 5 times a week. We have been working hard learning the skills needed to play a game of floor hockey. The equipment is a little different than what you might see in a gym class. We are using sticks that look like poles and pucks that look like cds to allow our athletes to experience more success. Our athletes are becoming more skilled with their dribbling, passing, and shooting abilities. They are beginning to work on defensive techniques. We will be playing a floor hockey game soon!
On Sunday, October 1st there was a Motorcycle Poker run that benefited NCSO. Over 30 bikers came out to support Northampton County Special Olympics. The Poker Run was put together by one of CIU20’s transportation drivers, Betty Jo Bonners- Hockman. Riders from the Moose Riders also assisted at registration and also at the park. Riders stopped at 6 different stops before ending at the Wind Gap Park. At the park both riders, athletes, and NCSO committee members enjoyed the food, entertainment, and the beautiful day together. There was also a tricky tray with lots of great prizes. Kory Kutzler’s bike was voted the best of show by our athlete judges. Two of our athletes even enjoyed a ride through the park on Kory’s bike! Overall, it was a great day!
On Thursday, October 12, 2017, ten athletes from Northampton County Special Olympics took part in the 5th Annual Crayola Experience Fashion Show. The athletes each were able to walk down the runway and show off their creative style to over a hundred guests in attendance. All of the ticket sale proceeds will be donated to Northampton County Special Olympics. Thank you to the Crayola Experience for continuing to include and support our program.
We are now offering Flag Football for the first time this year, it is held on Tuesday at the Charles Chin Center. We have 15 athletes who work hard and put their skills to the test each week. The skills that the athletes practice each week are passing, hiking, running with the ball, and trying to grab the other opponent’s flag. Each week our coaches work on trying to meet new goals and achievements for each of our athletes. We believe this new sport is very successful and we hope for it to grow in the years to come.
On Saturday, October 21st Miracle League of Northampton County had their annual trick or treat at their field in Palmer Township. NCSO came out to support Miracle League and set up a table for the trick or treaters. It was a great night to see all of the players dressed up in their costumes. Many of our NCSO athletes also play Miracle League so it was great to see familiar faces throughout the night! Over 400 trick or treaters came through the line! We can’t wait to do it again next year!
Representatives from NCSO traveled to Penn State on August 26th to take part in the Special Olympics PA Leadership Conference. The team took part in break-out sessions throughout the day that included: athlete leadership, finance, building better teams and volunteer mindfulness. The night ended with the awards banquet, hall of fame celebration and athlete leadership university graduation. Of course, no trip to Penn State would not be complete without a stop by the Penn State Creamery. The group looks forward to putting skills learned into practice back in Northampton County.
School Based Programs
You do not need to be a Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 student or classroom to participate. All district students and classroom are welcome. All athletes must have an athlete medical form on file with Northampton County Special Olympics. For more information see the medical tab on the website (ncspecialolympicspa.org) All athletes must train at least eight weeks for a sport: This maybe done during school hours or after school. This may be done through Adapted Physical Education class or regular Physical Education class. Trainings should be modified to the needs of each student. All Special Olympics sports rules should be followed during training. Districts are responsible to set up their own transportation Teachers or parents may register their athletes for an event. Contact the event coordinator to register listed under the information part of the sports info on the website (ncspecialolympicspa.org). All scores and information must be in by the deadline. Transportation must be provided to and from the event. All athletes must have an adult or coach present with them during the entire event
Open to all individuals with an identified intellectual disability or cognitive delay regardless of age. Visit our community programs page to see all the awesome sports we offer. If you are interested, click the registration link and fill out the required details. Then show up to the trainings on designated day and time at the listed location. All transportation must be provided on your own.
The Young Athletes Program is a sport play program for children ages 2 ½ to 7 years who have a disability and/or developmental delay. Young Athletes learn basic sport skills through fun based games and physical activities (throwing, catching, balancing, kicking, jumping, walking and running). While young athletes practice their sports skills they gain motor skills like balance, flexibility, strength and coordination. Transportation is not provided; parents/guardians will need to transport their child to/from the event, and remain in a waiting area during the session.
South @ Liberty
We had 703 athletes compete in the Athletics South Meet at Liberty High School (BASD Stadium) on May 4, 2017. We had 32 banners in our parade of athletes this year!!! The athletes were able to participate in three events throughout the day. Those events included: the wheelchair races, 25 meter walk, 50 meter dash, 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, the 400 meter run, the 800 meter run, the shot put, the javelin, the long jump and the softball throw. The athletes also got a chance to get their face painted and eat some candy with Just Born, participate in coloring activities donated by Crayola, receive a free book from Cops ‘n’ Kids and receive health information from the Bethlehem Health Bureau. A big thank you to Jane Prodes and all involved in making this day a huge success!
North @ East Stroudsburg South
We had 587 athletes compete in the Athletics North Meet at East Stroudsburg High School South Stadium on May 11, 2017. The athletes were able to participate in three events throughout the day. Those events included: wheelchair races, 25 meter walk, 50 meter dash, 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, the 400 meter run, the 800 meter run, the shot put, the javelin, the long jump and the softball throw. The athletes also got a chance to get their photo taken, their face painted, play with the therapy dogs and dance to music. A big thank you to Amiee Ellison and her staff for making the day a wonderful time for all of our athletes that attend the school districts in Monroe County!!!
Northampton County Special Olympic Equestrian Team’s 5th Annual Horse Show was held on Tuesday, May 30th at the Equi-librium Therapeutic Horsemanship facility in Nazareth. Despite the gloomy weather outdoors, the inside of the arena was filled with excitement and enthusiasm. Participating horse and rider teams included Alex & Snickers, Ali & Opal, Caroline & Willie, Corrinne & Sonny, Hailee & Figgy, Jack & Diesel, Juliana & Opal, Lauren & Figgy, Markus & Skye, Pranov & Willie and Sara & Jackie. Riders competed in equitation, trail and a team relay. Horses and riders really took advantage of the proud and supportive spectators and showed off their best work. We had our first ever walk/trot independent rider class! Judges for the show were Sam Hartzell and Lori Tucker. A HUGE thank you goes out to the staff and volunteers from Equi-librium who are there assisting throughout our training season. This year riders Alex, Lauren and Hailee will be representing us at the PA State Summer Games at Penn State University on June 1st -3rd. We are proud of you all!!
Northampton County Special Olypmics