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Special Olympics Spotlight: Celebrating Athletes and Volunteers

Special Olympics Buncombe County (SOBC) empowers and serves individuals of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities across Buncombe County. Buncombe County Parks & Recreation (BCPR) proudly supports and sponsors SOBC with in-kind donations, which includes staff time, office space, technology support, storage space, and travel assistance.  

Currently, SOBC offers soccer, basketball, cheerleading, alpine skiing and snowboarding, gymnastics, bowling, swimming, and tennis. Behind the scenes of every team practice and competition is a dedicated team of volunteers who devote their time and expertise to coach and mentor Special Olympics athletes. 

“Individuals with intellectual disabilities can be exceptional athletes and through sports, they can realize their potential for growth,” said Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics. 

Special Olympics provides athletes the opportunities to embody resilience, determination, and courage as they overcome obstacles during training and at competitions. In addition, it creates wonderful opportunities for athletes to make new friends while being active.  

Buncombe County Parks & Recreation also sponsors Special Olympics Buncombe County by donating a portion of proceeds from Festival of Lights, a month-long annual display of thousands of holiday lights around Lake Julian Park. In 2023, BCPR raised $14,000 to go towards uniforms, equipment, transportation and housing for tournaments and invitationals. These funds also help purchase supplies for the annual Special Olympics Spring Games in May. “Buncombe County Parks & Recreation is proud to support Special Olympics Buncombe County which gives athletes with physical and developmental disabilities the opportunity to showcase their strengths, athleticism, and fulfil their desire for competition.  We are proud to support these passionate athletes by providing the resources necessary and helping eliminate barriers for their participation in sports,” says Allison Dains, Director of the Buncombe County Parks & Recreation Department. 

In celebration of the hard work of Special Olympics Buncombe County volunteers and athletes, Buncombe County Parks & Recreation visited the spring sports teams and captured moments from their practice. See the full video here!

To learn more about Special Olympics Buncombe County, visit the Special Olympics Buncombe County website. For registration, please contact Mac Stanley at  

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Updated Mar 22, 2024 02:21 PM
Published Mar 22, 2024 11:28 AM

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