For over 20 years, Special Olympics has been a part of the Forsyth County community. However, never in such a way that it is now. What started out as a need voiced by many parents of students with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities who were graduating high school with limited opportunities to participate in sports, leisure activities and social events; in 2006 the Forsyth County School Special Education Department identified Special Olympics as a means to address some of the transition skills for students with developmental disabilities.
The first committee under the new leadership and community collaboration was established in January of 2006 with the overall goal of providing local games that were well organized; community supported, and anticipated events in the future. It was a mind shift that included opening doors for not only students within the school system, but also those who are home-schooled, in private schools and adults with developmental disabilities. Within 3 months, the committee connected with over 75 community volunteers to assist with the 2006 Spring Games held at Forsyth Central High School with 150 athletes attending the Games. That same year, they added 4 new competitions to the local games schedule: basketball (elementary and middle/high), volleyball and bowling – with the assistance of Forsyth County Parks and Recreation and the Cumming Civitan. Community, Volunteer and Family support has been a driving force that has allowed Special Olympics Forsyth to continue and expand its vision and growth for the past 6 years.
|Then and Now:||2005||2011|
|State Games||1 (1 sport, tennis)||3 (13 sports)|
|Socials and Dances||0||1 or more per month|
|Athletes (Local Games)||150||300+|
|Athletes (State Games)||2||75|
|Volunteers||unknown||175 and growing|
|2007||Georgia’s Distinguished Service Award for Local Coordinator of the Year|
|2010||Athlete of the Year (Melissa Middleton)|
|2011||Athlete and Coach to attend the 2012 World Games in Athens, Greece for Powerlifting (Daniel Hester and Mark Keesee)|