The 2019 Special Olympics North Carolina Fall Tournament concluded Nov. 3 in Charlotte, ending a weekend of competition for nearly 1,200 athletes and Unified Partners from 49 local programs from across the state, according to Keith L. Fishburne, president/CEO of SONC. Unified Partners are individuals without intellectual disabilities who train and compete alongside Special Olympics athletes.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Results for your coverage area can be found at https://sonc.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/2019-SONC-FT-Condensed-Results-for-Media.xlsx. If you cannot access the website, contact Madeline Safrit at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-719-7662, ext. 110 for a faxed copy.
To ensure fair competition, the athletes were placed in competition divisions based on age and ability level. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the top three finishers in each division, followed by fourth through eighth-place ribbons.
Athletes from the following 49 local programs competed in the 2019 SONC Fall Tournament: Alamance, Alleghany, Avery, Beaufort/Hyde, Brunswick, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Carteret, Caswell Center, Catawba, Cleveland, Craven, Cumberland, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford/Greensboro, Guilford/High Point, Harnett, Iredell, Johnston, Jones, Lake Norman, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Mecklenburg, Moore, Murdoch Center, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pitt, Qualla Boundary, Richmond, Rowan, Stanly, Surry, Transylvania, Union, Wake, Watauga, Wayne and Wilkes.
The 2019 Fall Tournament began with the Opening Ceremony at the Sportsplex at Matthews highlighting the past, present and future successes of the Special Olympics movement and included remarks by SONC President & CEO, Keith Fishburne. The Opening Ceremony was emceed by Larry Sprinkle from WCNC and Special County Gaston County athlete and Global Messenger Jacob Huffman. Program highlights included welcoming remarks by Congresswoman Alma Adams and the lighting of the cauldron. Bob Bowler was presented with the 2019 Special Olympics North Carolina President’s Award, Special Olympics New Hanover County athlete and Global Messenger Natalie Robins received the Billy Quick Leadership Award and Chuck Dellinger received recognition as Volunteer of the Year.
Nearly 1,000 volunteers, under the leadership of a volunteer Games Management Team, served as athlete escorts, awards presenters and various other roles to make this year’s Fall Tournament a reality for the athletes.
In addition to year-round statewide partners, 2019 SONC Fall Tournament sponsors include: Elevation Church, Town of Matthews, First National Bank, Compass Group, QuikTrip, Finish Line, RS&H and Charlotte’s got a lot.
About Special Olympics North Carolina
Since 1968, the organization has used the transformative power of sports to improve the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Nearly 40,000 athletes in North Carolina inspire thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide. SONC offers year-round training and competition in 19 Olympic-type sports on local and state levels as well as health and wellness initiatives to improve the health status and increase access to community health resources for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Youth become agents of change through Unified Champion Schools, an education and sports-based program created by Special Olympics to build an inclusive environment among youth with and without intellectual disabilities as well as empower them to become youth leaders and create change in their community. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.