SPECIAL OLYMPICS CONNECTICUT E-NEWSLETTER
ATHLETE VOLUNTEER SUPPORT FORMS
NEWS & RECOGNITION GOOD SPORTS & TEAM PLAYERS CALENDAR
January NEWSLETTER

Wishing you and those dear to you, health and happiness in 2022!

Winter Games Presented by Eversource Set for February 26th and 27th 
Eversource Logo
We look forward to hosting our 2022 Winter Games Presented by Eversource on Saturday, February 26th and Sunday, February 27th. In-person events scheduled include:
  • Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding at Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield
  • Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing at Eversource in Windsor
Competitions will be one-day, modified events. Athletes/teams will only compete on either Saturday or Sunday.
Floor Hockey, Gymnastics and Figure and Speed Skating competitions will be held at a later date due to Covid, which has caused a pause for indoor sport practices until further notice.
Virtual activities will include e-gaming and dance competitions. Our 2022 Rocket League e-gaming tournament will be a Unified activity (participants will be teams of two - including one athlete and one Unified partner) with games played on Tuesday nights from January 11th through March 1st.
We will offer virtual Contemporary Dance lessons to athletes on Wednesdays and Hip-Hop Dance lessons on Thursdays from January 12th through February 10th. Participants will learn 30-second routines and submit videos of themselves performing the routines which will be shared on our website and social media platforms during Winter Games weekend.
For more information and to register for these virtual events, click here.
*Please note, activities are subject to change. At all events, we will be enforcing guidelines and practices to keep our athletes safe and healthy - our top priority.
2022 Winter Games Sponsors include:
2022 Winter Games Sponsors
Make an Appointment for MedFest 
Athletes who plan to participate in our sports and competitions this year and need to update their medical forms are encouraged to participate in Medfest, an event where participants will be offered the physical screening required to play Special Olympics sports at no cost.
Medfest will take place at Yale Orthopedics and Rehabilitation in Milford on Saturday, February 5th, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointments must be made in advance by emailing susanm@soct.org.
Meet the Members of Team Connecticut: Track & Field Athletes, Coaches
Danielle Mola
Danielle Mola
Brandon Knight
Brandon Knight
Katya Nardone
Katya Nardone
Anthony Shonti
Anthony Shonti
Paul Kleva
Paul Kleva
Alex English
Alex English
Coach Kevin Grimes
Coach Kevin Grimes
Coach Mary Jane Hussey
Coach Mary Jane Hussey
We are pleased and proud to share that we will be sending a team of athletes, Unified partners, coaches and delegates to participate in the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida, June 5th - 12th. We will introduce you to members of the team below and in future issues of this newsletter.
Special Olympics CT athletes who will compete in track & field include Danielle Mola of Special Olympics Danbury, Brandon Knight of Special Olympics Groton, Katya Nardone of Special Olympics Ridgefield, and Anthony Shonti, Paul Kleva and Alex English of Special Olympics Windsor Locks.
Danielle also bowls and plays corn hole and basketball. "It's a great honor to be selected to represent the Connecticut Team...I'm looking forward to meeting new coaches and making new friends and teammates to share this experience with and of course getting to go to Disney," she says.
In addition to running, Brandon enjoys volleyball, basketball, working out and video games. "I look forward to this adventure and have always enjoyed competing in Special Olympics. I will do my best to make Connecticut proud," he says.
Kataya's interests, in addition to track & field, include cheerleading, dancing and cartooning. Her application for the Games states "she likes to compete and she likes to run. The chance to run in an important event is thrilling (for her)."
Along with running great distances, Anthony bowls and plays basketball, floor hockey and croquet. "I look forward to competing and being with friends and making new friends," he shared.
Paul is an active member of the SOCTFit5 group and also participates in snowshoeing, floor hockey, croquet and bowling with Special Olympics. He's looking forward to the USA Games and says, "I get to run with my friends while people cheer me on to run fast. I love running for a crowd."
Along with running Alex bowls and plays floor hockey, croquet and basketball with Special Olympics. He is also a member of our Unified Fitness Club. "I feel that getting the opportunity to attend the USA Games is once in a lifetime. It will be cool to compete with other athletes from all over the country," he shared.
Track & field coaches Kevin Grimes and Mary Jane Hussey are supporting these athletes and will be joining them in attending the USA Games.
We will also send a Unified track & field team from Shelton High School and athletes who will compete in swimming, gymnastics and basketball to the Games. More to come about these athletes! Photos by Chad Lyons.
Chilly and Charitable - It's Penguin Plunge Season
Elks at Penguin Plunge Ridgefield Penguin Plunge Penguin Plunge
We're pleased to announce dates for our upcoming Penguin Plunge events and invite all to find out more, make a donation or register for a Penguin Plunge at soct.org. Participants in the Plunge, at all locations, will jump into the chilly waters of a lake or Long Island Sound to support our athletes around the state and help create communities that accept and include people of all abilities. Virtual Penguin Plunge participants can plunge in creative ways any time, any place. Plunges and event-specific registration links for each include:
Our Penguin Plunge season officially kicked off at the end of 2021, with members of the Connecticut Elks Association participating in our Super Plunge in Westbrook and a new Plunge event hosted by Ridgefield police officers at Martin Park Beach which raised over $4,000! 
*Please note the Farmington Penguin Plunge has been cancelled due to Covid.
TD Offers Affinity Program to Benefit SOCT Athletes
TD Bank Logo
We're pleased to share that our Partner Sponsor, TD Bank, offers an Affinity Banking Program that helps to raise funds for community organizations including Special Olympics Connecticut. Enrollment is simple and free. Our organization will receive an annual contribution based on the activity of all participating members’ TD Bank accounts. 
Here's how it works. Special Olympics CT will receive:
  1. $50 for every new checking account
  2. $10 for every existing checking account Savings Accounts or CDs
  3. 1/10 of 1% contribution based upon participants’ annual average balances
New TD Bank Affinity Member Customers will receive $25 when opening a new checking account in store. Stop by any Connecticut TD location to open an account or to find out if your existing TD Bank account is eligible to participate today!
In addition, through its new Share the Green program, if you refer a friend to TD Bank, both you and your friend will receive $50. Refer 10 friends and receive $500! For applicable rules and limitations, click here.
Become a Member of Our Champion's Society
It's Easy to Plan for the Future with These Free Resources
If you're like many people, creating or updating your will or trust and other important documents often falls to the bottom of your 'to do' list. We have made it easy for you to get started today with free publications to help you get organized and complete your plans while gaining peace of mind: https://solegacygiving.org/resources
Special Olympics Unified Sports® in schools is made possible through Special Olympics Connecticut’s partnership with the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC). Sponsors include: 


We welcome your feedback and contributions. Contact us at 203-230-1201 or specialolympicsct@soct.org.

Partner Sponsors

Bozzuto's Inc. The Hometown Foundation Enterprise Logo
ESPN logo Eversource Logo Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation Logo
Torch Run Logo NBC CT and Telemundo CT TD Bank logo
Ratheon Technologies Logo WWE Logo

Year-Round Suppliers

Adams Hometown Markets/IGA Hometown Supermarkets
Coca Cola Beverages Northeast
Connecticut Portable Storage/PODS
Marcus Communications
N&D Sports
State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Community Service
WORX