Sports are an excellent way to stay active and healthy, but athletes in Northern California face some unique challenges that must be overcome. From the cost of specialized equipment to extreme temperatures, these obstacles can be difficult to manage. Fortunately, there are organizations dedicated to helping athletes overcome these challenges and continue to participate in sports. The National College Athletic Association (NCAA) reports that only 2% of high school students receive college athletic scholarships and only 1.3% receive a full career.
This means that for many athletes, participating in sports can be expensive. Insurance does not cover the costs of specialized adapted sports equipment, nor the costs of training or competition. The Northern California Special Olympics School Partnership Program is dedicated to promoting inclusion and empowering children and adults with intellectual disabilities, both on and off the field of play. The program hosts events open to qualified classes, such as soccer, which poses unique challenges due to the equipment players use.
To ensure athletes can continue to play despite dangerously high temperatures, student-athletes and athletic staff are taking steps to protect themselves. The school uses a Kestrel Heat Stress system to monitor temperature levels and ensure safety. With the help of organizations like the Northern California Special Olympics School Partnership Program, athletes in the region can continue to play, practice, compete and celebrate. In addition to providing access to specialized equipment and monitoring temperatures, the Northern California Special Olympics School Partnership Program also offers educational resources for coaches and parents.
These resources provide information on how to create an inclusive environment for athletes with disabilities, as well as how to support them both on and off the field. The program also provides access to grants that can help cover the costs of training and competition for athletes in need. These grants are available for both individual athletes and teams, making it easier for everyone to participate in sports. By providing access to specialized equipment, monitoring temperatures, offering educational resources and providing grants, the Northern California Special Olympics School Partnership Program is helping athletes overcome the unique challenges they face in the region.
With their help, athletes can continue to stay active and healthy while participating in sports.