Special Olympics Maryland
Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy, and benefit from participation in individual and team sports. These must be adapted only as necessary to meet the needs of those with mental and physical limitations.
Special Olympics believes that consistent training is indispensable to the development of an individual’s sports skills. In addition, competition among those of equal abilities is the most appropriate means of testing these skills, measuring progress, and providing incentives for personal growth.
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for persons eight years of age and older 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.
Fundraising events such as the Chesapeake Paddlefest enable Special Olympics Maryland (SOMD) to provide training and competition at no cost to the athlete or their family. SOMD currently serves over 6,900 athletes across the state and hopes to double that number by 2018.