The Healthy Athletes initiative is dedicated to providing health services and education to Special Olympics athletes, and changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities. Through free health screenings, training for healthcare professionals, and evaluation of the health status of people with intellectual disability, Healthy Athletes has become a powerful public health organization worldwide
At SOGA we hold 7 Healthy Athletes screenings every year. 2 at Indoor Winter Games, 3 at State Summer Games, 1 at Masters Bowling, and 1 at State Fall Games.
Indoor Winter Games
January 25th, 2014 9am-3:30pm
Marietta Middle School (Classrooms next to Lunch Room)
At our annual Indoor Winter Games held in Marietta, GA we offer the Special Olympics Healthy Hearing program which is a free hearing screening designed to ensure proper audiological care for participating Special Olympics athletes. Led by volunteer professionals, Healthy Hearing also provides tests for cerumen (ear wax) and otoacoustic emissions tests.
At Indoor Winter Games we also offer Special Olympics Health Promotion which is a free screening that offers health information and advice in the areas of nutrition, sun safety, bone density, tobacco cessation, and physical fitness. Health Promotion is designed to convey and reinforce key concepts on healthy living, healthy lifestyle choices, and nation-specific health issues
May 31st, 2014 9am-3:30pm
Racquet Ball Courts, Dance Studio next to elevators, and Healthy Athlete Village in Olympic Town.
At our State Summer Games held in Atlanta, GA at Emory University we hold 3 free health screenings.
We offer Special Olympics Fit Feet, which is a free podiatric screening for participating Special Olympics athletes evaluating ankles, feet, lower extremity biomechanics, and proper shoe and sock gear. In partnership with the International Federation of Podiatrists (FIP) and the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, Fit Feet also provides referrals for those participating Special Olympics that require follow up services.
We also offer The Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program which is a vision and eye health screening in partnership with the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Led by volunteer vision care professionals, Opening Eyes is able to offer prescription eyewear, sunglasses, and sports goggles to Special Olympics athletes.
Supported by the Georgia Dental Association, the third screening offered at Summer Games is our Special Olympics Special Smiles which offers free dental screening, oral health information, and instructions on brushing and flossing properly to participating Special Olympics athletes, as well as preventative supplies like toothpaste and toothbrushes. Athletes who require follow up dental services are referred to local oral health professionals. At 2011 Summer Games we screened 422 athletes with 91 of those screened received free sealants!
Masters Bowling Tournament
August 23rd, 2014 4:30-8:30pm
Warner Robins Museum of Aviation
We offer a second Special Smiles screening at our annual Masters Bowling Tournament.
October 11th, 2014 9am-3:30pm
At Fall Games in Gainesville we offer Special Olympics FUNfitness which is a physical therapy screening program that is designed to assess and improve physical strength, flexibility and balance, educate athletes and parents on the importance of staying physically fit and flexible, and provide a hands-on opportunity for participating Special Olympics athletes to learn more about physical therapy. Developed in partnership with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), FUNfitness is led by volunteer physical therapists.
If you are interested in volunteering at a Healthy Athletes screening, or have questions regarding SOGA’s Healthy Athletes program you may contact Zach Hageman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 229-256-1323.