Special Olympics

Our mission is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

  • Unified/Traditional Bowling (middle of August- end of September; state tournament is in October.)
  • Flag Football (end of August - beginning of November; state tournament is in November.)
  • Football Pep Club (end of September - beginning of November)
  • Unified/Traditional Aquatics (middle of September - beginning of December; state meet is in December.)
  • Team Basketball (beginning of November - end of March; state and area tournaments are in March.)
  • Individual Skills Basketball (beginning of December - end of March; state competition is in March.)
  • Basketball Pep Club (beginning of December - end of March)
  • Individual Bowling (middle of March-beginning of May; state tournament is in June.)
  • Unified/Traditional Athletics (beginning of April - end of May; state meet is in June.)
  • Unified/Traditional Bocce (beginning of April - end of May; state tournament is in June.)
  • Unified Volleyball (middle of April - beginning of June)
  • Team Softball (end of June - beginning of September; state tournament is in September.)
  • Individual Skills Softball (middle of July - beginning of September;  state competition is in September.)

Volunteers: We are always looking for volunteers (coaches, event workers, mentors, etc.). Contact Richelle Lefler for the paperwork!

Criteria: Special Olympics has two criteria for participation: Athletes must be diagnosed with an intellectual disability, athletes must be at least 8 years old.

Cost: Athletes may participate in Special Olympics at no cost to them. Throughout the year, we hold various fundraisers to pay for needed items and practice sites. We are also supported largely by the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities and several other community sponsors (Knights of Columbus, Masons of Ohio, Dover Moose, Rainbow Connection, local schools, etc.).

Contact Information: In most cases, you will contact one of the coaches with sport-specific questions. You can also contact the Local Coordinator, Richelle Lefler, in person (at practices) or through one of the following methods: 

FACEBOOK: Message the page for The Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

EMAIL: tuscarawascountyspecialolympic@gmail.com

PHONE: (614) 477-5252

Tuscarawas County Special Olympics ATTN: Richelle Lefler
610 Commercial Ave.
New Philadelphia, OH

To see the Special Olympics Overview video Click Here

Tuscarawas County Local Coordinator: Richelle Lefler

For more information, please email tuscarawascountyspecialolympic@gmail.com or call (614) 477-5252.

This local organization Is supported by TuscBDD and community partners.

Input Council

We firmly believe in our athletes having a voice in our organization. This is done primarily through an Input Council that meets 1-2 times per month. Athletes discuss various topics of interest, ideas for the future, and ways to improve/maintain current operations.

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