The Hood River-Columbia Gorge Special Olympics will host a shed day on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Rite Aide parking lot, 20th and Cascade, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This free event accepts donations that help developmentally disabled athletes on local teams continue to participate in activities, said a press release. For more information, contact Geri Murray at gorgewindsporperties@gmail.com.
The program is seeking athletes and volunteers. Special Olympics provides children ages eight and over and adults with intellectual disabilities access to individual and team athletic events throughout the year.
Having fun, developing skills and building self confidence is the goal. The skills athletes gain on the playing field carry over to their everyday lives — the organization calls it “Training for Life.”
Volunteers are critical in coaching and fundraising efforts. Volunteering is fun and emotionally rewarding, said a press release, and there is no requirement to be an expert in any particular sport; the only requirement is a desire to have a positive impact in the athletes’ lives.
In coordination with Speical Olympics Oregon, the program fields teams in swimming, bowling, track and field, bocce ball, golf, basketball and skiing/snowshoeing. The season for each of the sports typically lasts eight weeks, with one or two practices per week, usually culminating in a regional competition with other programs.
Upcoming events are bowling (which started Sept. 9 at Orchard Lanes) and swimming (starting Sept. 16 from 6-7 p.m. at the Hood River Acquatic Center).
“Special Olympics enriches the athletes’ livs by providing physical and social interaction that might be otherwise difficult to come by,” said a press release. “There is no cost to join Special Olympics, nor is there a cost to train or compete. Special Olympics raises funds through sponsorships, private donations and special events.”
Those wishing to participate in Special Olympics or to volunteer in any capacity (coaching, fundraising or organizational) should contact local program coordinators Jim Meckoll and Karen Neitzel at soor.hoodriver@soor.org.

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