Special Olympics, Inc was founded in the late 1960’s as a method of including and encouraging individuals with intellectual disabilities to develop to his/her potential. The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
The Arc assumed the responsibility for the Special Olympics program for Calhoun County in 1980 and Cleburne County (officially) in 1996. The Arc works with area elementary, middle and high schools in both counties to provide training and competition for some 200 athletes ages 8 to 21.
Each athlete must undergo a physical every three years and undergo a training process prior to competing in his/her sport.
Currently the agency coordinates programs for students in these sports.
- Athletics (Track and Field)
- Roller Skating
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding
The Arc also coordinates with The City of Anniston’s Parks and Recreation Department’s Therapeutic Recreation program to provide Special Olympics programs in the following sports, (call Coach Bernadette Burroughs at Anniston PARD for more information)
- Flag Football
Local athletes competing in these programs have met and exceeded their expectations, finding success in local, state, regional, national and even international Special Olympic Competitions!