Help us make a difference!

Make Your Year-End Gift by Dec. 31st - your donation will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, and change more lives.

Get Fit For Sport

The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Plus (PALA+) is a program designed to motivate people of all ages to be physically active on a regular basis by participating in activities they enjoy. Special Olympics is taking part in PALA Plus through a challenge called Get Fit For Sport.


Michelle Kwan for PALA

Olympic Gold Medalist Michelle Kwan invites everyone in Special Olympics to take part in the Get Fit for Sport challenge. Watch the Video

The Special Olympics Get Fit for Sport  challenge is for everyone associated with Special Olympics, including athletes, families, coaches, volunteers, program staff, Board members, and friends. Special Olympics ran a pilot version of the challenge in 2012 that involved 10 United States Programs. This year, all U.S. Programs are invited to take part and see which Program can make the most healthy lifestyle changes over two eight-week periods starting March 1. 

About PALA Plus
The Get Fit for Sport challenge follows the concepts of the PALA Plus program, encouraging people to find fun ways to be active almost every day of the week. Participants can choose all kinds of activities to meet this goal—playing with the kids, gardening, walking, playing basketball, running, yoga, and more—all while fueling their bodies with nutritious foods.

About the Get Fit for Sport Challenge

Each Program can have multiple teams, and the teams will work together to encourage participation and achievement during the challenge. Winners of the challenge will be announced at the USA National Games in New Jersey in June. The challenge involves a variety of achievements, such as weight lost and team scores. The goal of the challenge is to get people to continue to work activity and better food choices into their daily lives long after the challenge is over. 

Every U.S. Program has its own section on the PALA Plus website. Use the link below to go to your Program's page.


Success Stories


June 14, 2014 | North America: North Carolina

One Step At A Time Morgan Bielick Changed Her Life

By Madeline Weathers

Exercise, a healthy diet, lots of water, and plenty of sleep are the ingredients to a healthy and happy life. Special Olympics Team Haywood County athlete Morgan Bielick can tell you from personal experience the recipe is challenging but the results are well worth it.View Story Exercise, a healthy diet, lots of water, and plenty of sleep are the ingredients to a healthy and happy life. Special Olympics Team Haywood County athlete Morgan Bielick can tell you from personal experience the recipe is challenging but the results are well worth it. This determined Special Olympics Team North Carolina bocce athlete began her journey in January in preparation for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. Today, beaming with pride Morgan is proud to say she’s lost 24 pounds! Rain or shine she walks three miles every day of the week. For this athlete there are no excuses, when the weather is nice she walks outdoors and when it’s not so nice she takes on the indoor track! One of her favorite forms of exercise is hiking! Morgan has also been taking part in the President’s Active Lifestyle Challenge. She recently met her goal but plans to continue the challenge!

About Madeline Weathers:I am the Special Olympics North Carolina communications intern. I really enjoyed talking with Morgan and wish her luck in the 2014 USA Games!
Share
View less ▲

May 06, 2014 | SOI General: Headquarters

Half of US Adults with Disabilities Don't Exercise

By Lynn Aylward

Special Olympics athletes compete in track and field events at a meet in Maryland.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put out new findings today on physical activity and people with disabilities. Half of adult Americans with disabilities who could be active at some level get no aerobic physical activity.View Story The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put out new findings today on physical activity and people with disabilities. Half of adult Americans with disabilities who could be active at some level get no aerobic physical activity. In contrast to the CDC findings, all Special Olympics athletes are physically active through the training and competition the organization offers in 32 different sports plus fitness, health, and wellness activities. Read how Special Olympics helps.Physical activity has been linked to lower incidence of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers, so it was not surprising that the CDC study, featured in its monthly "Vital Signs" reporting, found that adults with disabilities are three times more likely to have these four types of morbidity than adults without disabilities, and that adults with disabilities who do not exercise are 50% more likely to have them, compared with adults who also have disabilities but are physically active.

About Lynn Aylward:I work in communications for Special Olympics.
Share
View less ▲

March 28, 2014 | North America: Florida

Athlete Health Corner: Jonathan Doring Gets Fit For Sport

By Jonathan Doring

In July 2010, I learned that I had been chosen to play tennis as a member of Team USA at the World Games in Athens, Greece in 2011. I wanted to do my very best and represent my country well.View Story In July 2010, I learned that I had been chosen to play tennis as a member of Team USA at the World Games in Athens, Greece in 2011. I wanted to do my very best and represent my country well. I began training regularly by playing tennis two or three times a week, exercising and watching my diet. I worked hard for almost a year and won the Gold Medal. After returning from World Games, Nancy Sawyer [of Special Olympics Florida] asked me to become part of the Healthy Lifestyle Program and I became an athlete health coach. Then in March of 2012, Nancy sent me the information about the President’s Challenge [now called SO Get Fit for Sport]. My dad and I joined right away. After winning a PALA certificate, I kept going. I have won Bronze, Silver and Gold so far and will get to Platinum. My dad exercises with me and has reached the Gold medal level, too.

About Jonathan Doring:Athlete leader in Florida
Share
View less ▲

Do You Have a Story to Share?

Got news or a great story about success with Get Fit For Sport to share? Share with our online form.


Do you have an event to add?

Tell us about it so we can publish the details to our calendar.

Register Your Event

How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.

LEARN MORE»

Follow us

Help us reach out to one more athlete.

Donate »

Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 226 worldwide locations.

FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU »

Videos and Photos

Coaching in SerbiaCoaches from three countries met in Serbia to hone their skills.See slideshow »


Videos and Photos

In Deep WaterGo feet first for one of the newest Special Olympics sports.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

First Unity CupSpecial Olympics uses football to promote understanding.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »



*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan

Help us on #GivingTuesday and Your Gift Will be Matched!

Make your year-end tax-deductible donation and help us get one more person onto the playing field.

Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar through Dec. 31.