San Antonio – Individuals competing in Special Olympics Texas’ (SOTX) 2019 Summer Games in San Antonio, May 2 through 5, will be able to take advantage of free health screenings as part of the organization’s Healthy Athletes program.
“Healthy Athletes screenings, which are absolutely free, are open to all SOTX athletes, even if they’re not registered to compete in the Summer Games,” said Norm Arias, SOTX senior executive director of logistics. “The screenings are conducted in a fun, welcoming environment that removes the anxiety and trepidation people with intellectual disabilities often experience when faced with a visit to the doctor or dentist. Approximately 1,500 screenings are administered annually at our Winter Games, Summer Games and Fall Classic state competitions.”
In 1969, SOTX staged its first competition, and in 2019, the 50th Annual Summer Games will be held in San Antonio – Inclusion City USA – for the first time. The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation is presenting sponsor for the games that will be headquartered at Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first theme park designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment in an atmosphere of inclusion.
Healthy Athletes will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 3, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of TeletonUSA (CRIT), 10839 Quarry Park near Morgan’s Wonderland. CRIT is part of the world’s largest private pediatric system with more than 110,000 patients treated to date in the U. S. and Mexico.
Arias said Healthy Athletes screenings will be available in multiple categories:
- Fit Feet – Licensed podiatrists will screen athletes’ feet, check shoe sizes and, if available, provide orthotic inserts;
- FUNfitness – Licensed physical therapists will provide assessments in the areas of flexibility, strength, balance and aerobic fitness;
- Healthy Hearing – Licensed audiologists or ear, nose and throat specialists will provide free hearing tests;
- Health Promotions – Licensed or certified dietitians or registered nurses will provide educational material on general health and free bone density tests;
- MedFest – Licensed doctors, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners will provide free physicals, which are required for athletes to compete in SOTX events;
- Opening Eyes – Licensed optometrists or ophthalmologists will provide free vision screenings as well as prescription glasses or sport goggles if needed;
- Special Smiles – Licensed dentists or dental hygienists will provide free dental screenings, plus free tooth brushes and tooth paste.
- Strong Minds – Licensed psychologists will provide free screenings and tools to help athletes cope with stress and anxiety and to think positively about themselves.
The four-day 2019 Summer Games are open to the public. Entities involved in staging the games include SOTX, Morgan’s Wonderland, CRIT, the North East Independent School District (NEISD), Spurs Sports and Entertainment/San Antonio FC, and Visit San Antonio.
About Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas provides opportunities for more than 58,800 Texas children and adults with intellectual disabilities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. For more information, visit http://www.sotx.org/.
The TeletonUSA Foundation was established to raise funds for the construction and operation of the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of TeletonUSA (CRIT). Modeled after the pediatric rehabilitation centers of the highly successful Teleton Foundation in Mexico, CRIT opened in San Antonio in 2014 to serve families from San Antonio and across the U. S. CRIT’s model of care serves children from birth to 18-plus years old with neurological, muscular and skeletal disabilities. For more information, visit www.critusa.org.
About Morgan’s Wonderland
Non-profit, award-winning Morgan’s Wonderland theme park in San Antonio, which is completely wheelchair-accessible, was designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment in an atmosphere of inclusion. Next door is ultra-accessible™ Morgan’s Inspiration island splash park. For more information, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com.