GAME ON! Special Olympics Massachusetts Summer Games

March 19, 2015

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March 2015

When I was living in Rhode Island, few Special Olympics opportunities were offered. At my past residential agency I was part of the basketball and softball teams, however we weren’t able to play the full weekend of the summer games, which I’ve now been able to experience at Latham! While these teams were fun to play on, I knew that something was missing from my experience. It’s important to remember that at this point in my life I was at my heaviest weight, and it was more difficult for me to play these sports.

When I moved to Latham Centers on the Cape I discovered there were more opportunities for me to participate in Massachusetts Special Olympics.  Through the three years I’ve been here I’ve had the privilege of being part of two teams.  The first is the Sunshine Capers ten-bowling team, and the other is the Latham Flyers track and field team.  I’ve gone to the state winter games for ten-pin bowling twice and I’ve attended the state summer games once.  You may be curious about my experience at these games, considering my PWS diagnosis.

With the help of the awesome services offered here on Cape Cod, the trips to the games were organized beforehand. Our nurse and house staff pre-planned what we were able to eat for any meals not provided by Special Olympics. That helps alleviate the stress and anxiety being around food that I don’t normally consume in my daily diet. Latham staff is able to join us at the games, which makes med passing and other areas of the games more manageable. I’ve been able to really enjoy the state games with the weight loss I’ve accomplished. I bring home mostly gold medals, and occasionally a silver medal as well!

Why do I enjoy the state games so much??  I’m able to go out in the community and interact with the many individuals who participate.  Also, even though I live with PWS I’m still able to enjoy a full weekend of participation at the State Games without being left out of anything. I recently got into contact with the Wareham Wild Vikings, a softball team that goes to the state summer games, so I will be participating even more!

While Latham staff try to take us to the Summer Games every year, sometimes the whole Latham Flyers team in unable to attend. For me, even if there is decreased opportunity, I will not be stopped from participating and performing at my best! Who knows, maybe I will get a winning hit for my softball team this summer.  All I care most about is that I’ll be enjoying the summer games the way they should be this year.  No matter whether my team wins or loses I will be having fun and enjoying the experience.  I may be limited on what I’m able to do, but one thing is for sure – it’s GAME ON for me.

 

Derek M.,
Adult Resident at Latham Centers

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