This page provides information for leadership volunteers across North Carolina to keep them informed of new resources and opportunities from SONC while also sharing regular reminders on practices and policies. Visit it regularly to stay informed!
Coordinator Emails Transition Update
All local program email accounts are now active and forwarding has been turned off. At this time, only SONC-issued emails will be used. If you have any issues or need troubleshooting help, please reach out to your Community Resource Director.
The remaining timeline for our email transition is as follows:
August 3 – SONC-issued emails will be the only email used for all local programming.
August 11 or 18 – A session will be offered as part of the Leadership Conference webinars on the overall use of Microsoft Office for email, but also for other functions.
For quite a while – We will all adjust to operating a bit differently and SONC staff will regularly be available to assist with this transition.
One day – It will be a piece of cake!
August Heating Up Challenge
Throughout August, Special Olympics North Carolina is challenging athletes, coaches, volunteers and the SONC community to join them in the Heating Up Challenge! This is the last challenge before we jump into fall programming. Join today and get prepared to hit the fall season running!
Here are the rules:
– Participate in daily at-home fitness and sport activities/challenges
– Join live fitness sessions, if you’re able to
– Track it all on your Heating Up tracker
– Turn your tracker in on August 31 (email to email@example.com) to be entered into a drawing for SONC swag!
2020 SONC Leadership Conference Session Information and Registration
|Tues. 8/11||10:00am||Healthy & Active at Home. Various opportunities and Partner Up Power Up Q&A||Register Here|
|11:00am||It’s a great time to involve Unified Champion Schools: How do we do that?||Register Here|
|1:00pm||All things volunteers – virtual opportunities, how do we keep them engaged during the pandemic and how to use DocuSign for Class A||Register Here|
Microsoft Office – do you consider yourself a beginner or advanced user? Choose your session!
Beginner – for those of you who just want to figure out the email!
Advanced – for those ready to do more like save documents on OneDrive and even use the Teams function
|11:00am||How to fundraise with no events happening!||Register Here|
|1:00pm||Competition & Sports Update||Register Here|
Fall 2020 Training Plan Updates
Thank you to everyone who was able to join Wednesday’s call to get an update on plans for this fall. If you did not get to be on the call, please listen to this recording as soon as possible so you can pass this information along to the participants in your community.
The cliff notes:
– A full 10-week Unified fitness training plan will be rolled out by SONC and will run September 8 through November 20. A hard copy training plan will be provided to everyone who participates, so it can be fully done from home. Online resources will also be available for those who have internet access.
– Sport-specific training plans will also be offered that can be done alongside the fitness training plan.
– In-person training is an option for groups of 10 or less.
– No competitions will be held in 2020 at any level.
– A full summary of the plans can be found in the attached document – Return to Activities Protocol & Guidance.
– Specific guidance and support materials for in-person gatherings are all on the SONC website (at the bottom of the page).
– Athletes with expired/expiring Athlete Participation Packets (APP) may qualify for an extension. The attached document explains the process.
The most important note – this is just the overview. We will have much more to come over the next week to help you understand as the leader in your community and to help you share the information and we are committed to being available for questions and support.
Promotional Video: Get a quick overview of this fitness training program.
Athlete Flyer: A great one-pager to share with potential athletes to get them signed up.
Unified Partner Flyer: A useful summary of this volunteer position for recruitment. Also useful for anyone interested in serving as a coach.
Sponsor Flyer: If any companies/organizations in your community are interested in sponsoring a week of the fitness program, please share this information.
Snapshot of the Training Program (10-minute video): See a detailed description of the program for athletes and Unified partners.
July 22 Webinar Recording (50-minute video): If you missed the webinar, view the full presentation.
July 22 PowerPoint Slides: If you would like to use all or some of the slides from the presentation to share with local participants, feel free!
Registration Materials (Deadline August 18, 2020):
Online Athlete Registration: Athletes can individually register through this form. Local programs can direct athletes here and the coordinator will be regularly updated on registrations.
Online Unified Partner and Coach Registration: Volunteers can individually register through this form. Local programs can direct volunteers here and the coordinator will be regularly updated on registrations.
Training Roster for Registration: If a local program prefers to submit comprehensive registration for everyone in that county, a blank training roster is provided and can be completed and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Athletes with Expired/Expiring Athlete Participation Packets Receive Extension
Normally Special Olympics North Carolina dictates that athletes are required to have a sports physical to compete in Special Olympics sport activities and that they should have their sports physicals renewed every three years because of the potential health risks inherent in sports participation for people with certain medical conditions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes may be having difficulty accessing health care in order to have their sports physicals, known as Athlete Participation Packets (APP), renewed. As a result, any athletes with expired forms may have until January 29, 2021 to submit a completed form. This depends on an athlete’s current health condition, not including exposure to or infection from COVID-19 or any significant changes in health. A full summary is provided.
In order for an athlete to be considered for an extension, this online form must be completed.
If a new individual wants to participate with SONC for the first time prior to January 29, 2021, s/he must either submit a completed APP for in-person trainings or complete the provided Waiver for Virtual Activities and health history of the APP for at-home/virtual training.
Changes Coming for Basketball and Softball
As announced on the Wednesday webinar, SONC is moving forward with next steps to change the sport season for basketball and softball. This is a change that will stay in place once implemented; it is not temporary and is not related to the current situation with the pandemic. The timing was simply accelerated with state-level events and regular training already disrupted. Please view a more detailed explanation here.
The tentative plan for state-level events is to offer softball competition with Fall Tournament and basketball competition with Summer Games. This would begin with the 2021 SONC Summer Games.
The final determinant will be confirmation of facilities for the state-level events and more information will follow as planning continues. In the meantime, local programs have been provided with the modified training plan to do softball training this fall.
For programs that still want to do basketball training in the fall, you are encouraged to consult with the sports staff on how to make modifications and you are reminded that those trainings should also occur outdoors based on the in-person gathering guidance SONC has provided.
2020 Virtual Global Messenger Training
Typically held in person each year at the Special Olympics North Carolina headquarters, this year’s Global Messenger Training will be virtual. Due to the pandemic, it will be moved online with a series of trainings, the first of which will begin on September 11, 2020. Any interested Special Olympics athletes should read the full application information here before completing the application before August 7.
Welcome New Members to the Sport Development Teams!
Please join the SONC Sport Staff in welcoming these new members to the Sport Development Team!
Alpine Skiing: Jake Harkey (Watauga) first got involved with Special Olympics Watauga County as a student at Appalachian State University and has coached eight sports with Watauga. He has been involved with this program for over 17 years and has been heavily involved in the planning of the SONC Winter Games – Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding for the past five of those years. He has been an alpine skiing coach for Special Olympics USA for three World Games, the most recent being for the 2022 Special Olympics USA delegation bound for Kazan!
Cheerleading: Christy Thompson (Durham) has been a cheerleading coach for Special Olympics Durham County for six years, in addition to being a cheerleading coach outside of Special Olympics for 20+ years before that. Many of you may have been taught by her at one of our many cheerleading training schools! We are excited to have Christy and her experience on the cheerleading Sport Development Team!
Golf: Craig Calcasola (Mecklenburg) has been a volunteer with Special Olympics for over five years and is also the father of a Special Olympics athlete! He has managed golf tours for the PGA, and even helped bring the first professional golf tournament to the continent of Africa, with the competition held in Morocco. He is excited to help SONC with new and innovative ways to bring the sport of golf to all our athletes and Unified partners.
Swimming: Chris Underwood (Wake) was the 2018 SONC Frank Starling Coach of the Year for good reason. He has been involved as a swim coach for 13 years and has taken his technological expertise first to his team, and then to all coaches for the SONC program by creating and maintaining a database of all times and events for swimming athletes. Many coaches have had Chris as their swimming clinician, and he will be instrumental in providing input into our coaches’ education and development plan.