00:36:48Drew Devore University of Minnesota Twin Cities
00:36:55Kaitlee Francisco-Special Olympics
00:42:30Amanda Alpert, University of Mississippi
Share your thoughts: What are ways that Campus Recreation and Special Olympics can support each other during this time?
00:43:31Mitch Bonar Indiana weslyan universty Special Olympics indiana
Hmm we could do a bingo night
00:44:05Mallory Gustin- Colorado State University
Liz and I were thinking of doing athlete and partner highlights every week!
00:44:12Lexxi O'Brien SO Iowa
SOIA has launched an online social MOVEment, encouraging athletes, Unified partners and supporters to participate in challenges to earn points and win prizes
00:44:26Dan Ekonen SOMI
We've had some of our SO College students checking in with our athletes via social media
00:44:37Drew Devore University of Minnesota Twin Cities
@Lexi do you have a link to this information?
00:45:28Scott George - Special Olympics North America
A lot of the virtual fitness and wellness opportunities that campus recreation departments can be super valuable for our athletes that are looking to stay fit and involved
00:45:44Ross Rodriguez - UT Austin
Great ideas, all!
00:45:47Cecilia UW - Madison
UW - Madison made a Facebook page with SOWI to give everyone a platform to share what they are doing to stay active and healthy. The goal is the Fit5 (exercise 5 days a week, eat 5 fruits and vegetables, and drink 5 bottle of water)
Utilizing sport specific SO virtual trainings are also a great tool
00:46:09Drew Devore University of Minnesota Twin Cities
at Minnesota I have set up a monthly check in with our SO Club on Campus and Special Olympics Minnesota. We are working to set actionable items we can work on collectively so we are ready for the Fall
00:46:18DJ Doss - Kennesaw State
We are holding social media competitions for trick shots and for championship t-shirt designs. Other social media challenges may be great options to promote engagement!
00:46:50Lexxi O'Brien SO Iowa
Drew-- the following link is our facebook group! This is where our challenges are posted. Participants post photos and videos to earn points https://www.facebook.com/groups/1114172445600574/?ref=bookmarks
00:46:51Drew Devore University of Minnesota Twin Cities
We are already starting the recruiting process for partners in the Fall
We created sport specific trainings so our athletes/partners can stay involved in the spring sports they would typically be training for. We are hoping to still have a shortened Summer Games with SOC involvement in late June at this point so we are prepping for such an event: https://specialolympicsco.org/virtualtraining/
00:46:58Scott George - Special Olympics North America
Here is a page that has resources for SO College - from starting a student club to bringing a Unified Intramural Program to campus
00:49:04Ross Rodriguez - UT Austin
00:51:37Tyler Artley - UT Tyler
We are having some issues getting students excited about Unified Sports. What are some things everyone is doing to get students to buy in? We have done a Unified flag football night with free t-shirts, games, food, etc. but still struggle to get our students to buy in.
00:51:46Amy Southern Indiana
We are trying to start a unified program at Southern Indiana and do any schools have any tips on getting students involved? We are finding that students still do not know unified is and being a commuter campus it is hard to get a commitment?
00:52:06Jonathan Johnston - A&M Commerce
Same for us Tyler and also getting athletes from the area
00:53:04Jenna Smith - Western University, Ontario, Canada
One area thats worked for us recruiting unified partners is to email out information to our Kinesiology program administration - they then forward it on to all students in Kinesiology and thats been a bit help for us. Any programs related to Disability Students or Teachers Education has also been helpful. As long as we explain what it is and give them information to register, program coordinators have been happy to send it to all students
00:53:26Aaron Brooks - The University of Akron
Other than regular IM’s, we are on a, if it doesn’t make us money, we aren’t doing it right now
00:53:49DJ Doss - Kennesaw State
A few areas we have found success in reaching our students -- Fraternity and Sorority Life, Department Staff, and specific academic areas. We have had great success partnering with our Health and Physical Education team and students.
getting students involved is one of our biggest struggles as well! we have found that making partnerships with other on campus clubs and greek life has helped a lot with student numbers and retention! We have a partnership with the Health and Wellness club and their members get points for coming to our events and its the same sort of system for our greek life partners!
00:54:39Mallory Gustin- Colorado State University
Yes! The Polar Plunge makes our club the most money through our partners!
00:55:07Tony North Jr - The University of Toledo
One thing we have done is switched the night(s) that we program unified. We originally programmed on weekends, specifically sundays. This past fall we saw a decrease in student participation for flag football. We moved our basketball league from the weekend to Wednesday nights and our unified games were the first slate of games for the night. We ended up having too many partners for the size of our league. So we're going to purse the same thing for Fall 2020
00:55:11Jenna Smith - Western University, Ontario, Canada
Special Olympics Ontario is currently starting up a virtual polar plunge to assist with their fundraising!
00:55:53Drew Devore University of Minnesota Twin Cities
We utilized the ESPN grant with SOMN this year
00:55:55Tony North Jr - The University of Toledo
@LizBelecky...Greek Life has been a nice partnership as well
00:56:03Dan Ekonen SOMI
@drew, we've had our SO College Clubs if they are a registered organization on campus can approach their Student Government for funding and have had some success there.
@ Tony North I agree! weeknights have always worked best for us!
00:58:07Lexxi O'Brien SO Iowa
Not all schools allow student-athletes to participate in IM's, but if you find that there are stipulations that do allow for student athletes to participate (ex: playing IM's in off seasons), we have found that helpful!
00:58:33DJ Doss - Kennesaw State
@Lexxi Same here with student athletes as well!
00:59:41Drew Devore University of Minnesota Twin Cities
I am with Tony. I have embedded Unified programming in the middle of our IM programming on Tuesday nights here at Minnesota
00:59:53Tyler Artley - UT Tyler
Our student-athlets aren't allowed to participate actively but for the events we do have a large group of them will come out to cheer on everyone playing in the game
01:00:19Lexxi O'Brien SO Iowa
We've found Therapeutic Recreation, Occupational Therapy, Adaptive Rec and other medical-related fields of study have a receptive audience of students that participate
01:00:29Drew Devore University of Minnesota Twin Cities
We have also kept the same time for every Unified sport we offer. That way we have consistency for the SO athletes
01:00:45Scott George - Special Olympics North America
Lots of schools, especially smaller schools that have a heavy student-athlete population, will look for student-athletes to be involved while they are "off-season"
01:01:00Mallory Gustin- Colorado State University
@Tony North Aligning it with the IM schedule has helped our athletes at CSU really feel connected to the campus and the students!
It seems like a lot of Unified Programs within Campus Recreation are started/led by Sport Programs. What are some ways you have been able to get other program areas (Fitness, Facilities, Aquatics, Pro Staff etc.) on board/ involved with Unified?
01:01:17Jenna Smith - Western University, Ontario, Canada
We have scheduled on Sunday mornings 11am-1pm where we didn’t have a high demand for IMS programming and its seemed to work as participants have limited conflicts with other commitments
01:03:01Dan Ekonen SOMI
start small with a one day event, once students and leadership see it, they often want to get more involved! SOMI has had a number of schools start this way and it grows into league play.
01:03:23Ross Rodriguez - UT Austin
Great suggestion, @Dan
01:04:10Val Reinford - Special Olympics Virginia
How are you organizing teams to accommodate the wide ability level of athletes and partners? Do you offer different sports for different ability levels?
01:04:18Jonathan Johnston - A&M Commerce
yes having same thought @caroline ciell
01:04:22Amanda Alpert, University of Mississippi
Here is the link to starting an SO College: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfYzK78cZrjq0mvNUABQF8JAwCkXln0_lccRCpOnAIX3MIkmQ/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dGlaTVg4azhnS19jUTNlRTB6MjNzRGc6MA..#gid=0
01:05:06Jenna Smith - Western University, Ontario, Canada
For funding, we partnered with Campus Police - we had a silent auction with donations that we left in their break room and they also gave a donation on top which helped us raise around $2500! So look outside of your department and see how they can assist you with funding!
01:05:13Tony North Jr - The University of Toledo
@Caroline Ciell not necessarily unified sports but we have Healthy Athletes on our campus where our School of Exercise & Rehabilitation Services partners with our local office and Rec Services to provide information and training on nutrition, fitness, etc..
01:05:46Dan Ekonen SOMI
utilize your current rec staff or students hosting Unified on their campus to reach out to their peers on other campuses to share their experience.
01:05:47Drew Devore University of Minnesota Twin Cities
@Val we are working with SOMN to help identify the skill levels of athletes. Then we have a practicescrimmage night before the start of every season to ensure we have balanced teams. If we still find there is imbalance we will adjust teams after week 1.
01:05:54Jonathan Johnston - A&M Commerce
thumps up @tony
for different abilities we offer three courts during our IM basketball leagues to have a beginners level, intermediate and advanced courts so athletes and partners can choose where they would like to participate! However, I understand thats not always possible so you can always schedule two court times back to back and have the two teams cheer each other on!
01:06:13Mel Erdmann SOSoCAL
Interestingly, at CSU Bakersfield, the Tennis Club were the students that really helped to start Flag Football on campus. They also came out to help demonstrate Unified Tennis Doubles at one of our local competitions.
01:06:22Jenna Smith - Western University, Ontario, Canada
We also had an SO athlete whose father is very successful in our community so after having them in our program for a year, we approached his business for financial support
01:09:49Jenna Smith - Western University, Ontario, Canada
Does anyone have their SO athletes involved in the department as volunteers? I’d love to have them join our department at the Welcome Desk or Equipment rental but just not sure about the insurance etc. Has anyone started this yet?
I echo Jenna's question!
01:11:18DJ Doss - Kennesaw State
We are able to work with our Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth to have students work with our department in a few various areas within our department.
01:11:21Mallory Gustin- Colorado State University
We have an athlete serve on our executive board for our club but would love to see how we can help get other athletes internships/jobs!
01:11:48Lexxi O'Brien SO Iowa
College Club at St. Ambrose University (in Iowa) offer bi-weekly Unified hangouts. They have gone ice skating, bowling, hosted craft nights, etc. Iowa State University college club hosted a Mario Kart night!
01:12:48Dan Ekonen SOMI
@ Mallory, does Chop or Ben have your E-board Athlete position description that they could share?
for unified fitness on college campuses we have elected a health and wellness chair for our SO College and she is a student who is in the Health and Wellness student! She gives tips for fitness and nutrition at club meeting and events. She also works on getting water and snacks at events to keep athletes going and puts nutrition tips on them!
01:13:13Tony North Jr - The University of Toledo
We partner with our Toledo Transition (T2) program to employ 1-2 Students with Disabilities each semester....they have to work as a part of their curriculum so its been a nice partnership
01:14:51Ryan Parriott - Drake University
Drake Rec Services is under Athletics. So we were able to get tickets for all our Unified athletes/partners to attend a MBB game together and hangout before our Unified Championship night. They were able to sit together close to the student section and absolutely loved it
01:15:54Jenna Smith - Western University, Ontario, Canada
We are looking at partnering with Athletics and having the team we are playing bring their Unified teams and have that as a “half time” show!
01:17:07Tony North Jr - The University of Toledo
our athletics dept recently donated 600 ticket vouchers for a celebrity game that our local office was hosting...i think it was 600
01:18:03Mallory Gustin- Colorado State University
Mal and Liz
01:18:11Mallory Gustin- Colorado State University
01:18:40Thomas Lail - Syracuse University
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
01:19:05Tony North Jr - The University of Toledo
Tony.North@utoledo.edu & David.Mann2@utoledo.edu
01:19:06Scott George - Special Olympics North America
What are some problems people have run into starting a Unified league for the first time and what are some tips on how to avoid them?
yeah we at CSU do a lot of social events and off campus gatherings! This includes holiday parties, bowling, attending professional sports games, movie nights, game nights, hiking, ect!
01:23:59Scott George - Special Olympics North America
@Jeff - email me at email@example.com and we can set up a call!
01:24:10Mel Erdmann SOSoCAL
SO Southern California: firstname.lastname@example.org
01:24:32Jeff Hares - Montana State University
Thank you Scott!
01:24:38DJ Doss - Kennesaw State
Great work to the folks leading and sharing today, appreciate the insight!
01:24:51Cecilia UW - Madison
UW Madison was supposed to host the NIRSA 7v7 soccer tournament for sport clubs and Unified teams in the Midwest this April. It unfortunately was cancelled, but we are planning to host it again next year!
01:24:56Tony North Jr - The University of Toledo
@Lexxi and @Sean...thank you!
01:24:59Bryan Coffey. Special Olympics Iowa
Wanting to echo, Lexxi. The University of Iowa Unified Rowing program has certainly brought unique opportunities to our athletes and it has been incredible!
01:25:36Mallory Gustin- Colorado State University
We've done kickball, dodgeball, social nights, movie nights and were going to have a player card making night before COVID-19 happened!
A topic for future discussion; Resources for officials on how to best prepare them for the unified experience!
01:25:53Tony North Jr - The University of Toledo
01:26:29Jeff Hares - Montana State University
I agree with Tom on future topics!
01:26:45Dan Ekonen SOMI
@ Tony, Jordan Leslie and Oakland worked to start Big Pink Volleyball and we had a lot of interest, but had to cancel because of COVID the day before league started.
end of the year surveys can help gather what everyone enjoyed most!
01:27:03Mallory Gustin- Colorado State University
Great idea Mitch!
01:27:28Tony North Jr - The University of Toledo
@dan thank you! great idea!
01:28:07Jonathan Johnston - A&M Commerce
This was great1 Thanks everyone for sharing and thanks to Scott and Amanda for facilitating
01:28:10Scott George - Special Olympics North America