Special Olympics Hawaii E-Newsletter
With the holidays just around the corner Special Olympics Hawai‘i got the ball rolling with the last of the state games of the year – our annual Holiday Classic! This year, the state games marked 25 years helping more than 1,200 athletes and coaches compete in sports including basketball, singles and Unified® team bowling, as well as traditional and Unified® doubles bocce.
This year’s Holiday Classic took place Nov. 22-23, 2014 at Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“Thanks to the support of our families, athletes, coaches, volunteers – as well as the many companies who support us throughout the year – we are excited to celebrate 25 years hosting our annual Holiday Classic competition,” said Nancy Bottelo, Special Olympics Hawai‘i president and CEO. “Many people don’t know that we offer competition, training and services year-round. Providing these services is critical to the well-being of our athletes and their families and marking a quarter century of these games truly celebrates the thousands of athletes we have served over the years and the many more we look forward to serving.”
The Holiday Classic is one of Special Olympics Hawai‘i’s largest annual sporting events and marks the end of the fall season. Athletes statewide train starting in September and compete in area and regional competitions in October and November to qualify.
Starting Them Young -- A Legacy of Encouraging Friendships
The Young Athlete Program (YAP) continues to grow in East Hawai‘i as keiki from Kea‘au Elementary Schools’ Special Education preschool class and Kamehameha Hawai‘i’s kindergarten class, have joined in the fun! Keiki of all ability levels came together to participate in our YAP Play Day which was held on November 13, at the Kamehameha Hawai‘i campus in Kea‘au.
This year, our annual play day was planned and organized by Kamehameha Hawai‘i high school seniors Harley Woolsey and Samantha Simmons. At Kamehameha every senior is tasked with putting together a senior legacy project that impacts the community. The project must practice kahiau (giving with no expectation of return) and also foster the value of outreach and touching the lives of those outside Kamehameha with the intent of continuing the project for future participants.
Harley, who aspires to become a preschool teacher, helped to facilitate, organize and host the event. She made contact with the teachers at both campuses and worked to register 75 young athletes for the event. Harley also designed this year’s YAP t-shirt, which was given out to all participants and volunteers.
Samantha, who plans on becoming a nutritionist, hosted “Samʻs treats and snacks” booth during the event, providing participants with a healthy fruit treat to enjoy. Sam also put together a simple recipe booklet of healthy treats and snacks, which was shared with all participants.
Our East Hawai‘i Young Athlete Program continues to grow in numbers and in popularity. During and following the event we received numerous requests for future play days and planning is already underway for the next event.
Thanks to a generous $20,000 Christmas Record Grant from Special Olympics, Special Olympics Hawai‘i was able to receive invaluable funding for this year’s Holiday Classic.
A Very Special Christmas was founded by legendary record producer Jimmy Iovine, his then-wife Vicki, and Bobby Shriver, son of Special Olympics Founder Eunice Shriver. For more than 25 years, the biggest and brightest voices in the recording industry have generously lent their time and talents to Special Olympics to create the holiday album series – A Very Special Christmas – the single most successful benefit recording in musical history.
For more on A Very Special Christmas visit their website www.averyspecialchristmas.org.
Special Olympics Hawai‘i invites families and young keiki to come out to play! On Saturday, Dec. 6 children ages two to seven years old with and without disabilities can come out for a fun morning to learn about movement and work on developing pre-sport skills.
This year’s Second Annual December Young Athlete Program (YAP) event will take place at Kaiser High School’s cafeteria from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The event is free to participate. If your child is already enrolled in our YAP sessions simply send Nip an email at
to confirm your attendance. If your child is new to the YAP program, please complete this simple registration form.
Mahalo to our friends from the Friends of Hawai‘i Charities. Their generous donation of $10,000 helped to make this year’s Holiday Classic bright for our local athletes!
The Friends of Hawai‘i Charities is a collaboration of a group of Hawai‘i business and community leaders whose purpose is to generate needed funding for Hawai‘i’s not-for-profit organizations that benefit women, children, youth, and needy programs. The Friends’ principal fund-raising event is the SONY OPEN IN HAWAI‘I PGA TOUR golf tournament held at Waialae Country Club each January. For more on Friends of Hawai‘i Charities and their work visit www.friendsofhawaii.org.