Area26 news & updates
December 2020 | Issue 16
Let me win, but if I cannot win,
Let me be brave in the attempt.
From the Editor...
Face Mask 1
We have arrived in December - of the year we all missed. The Virtual Winter program will be getting under way soon, and we continue to have lots of athletes all over the Area participating in workouts with their teams or with other Area athletes on Zoom or in other ways.

Everybody needs to know that even though many of us (me included) are anxious to get back to seeing each other in person that the next few months are critical as we await the vaccines that will help us fight COVID once and for all. Stay safe, wear masks, socially distance, and just be patient - this does have an end!!
Special Olympians VOTE...

We had lots of our community get out to support their rights to democratic selection of our leadership. Here is saluting all of you for supporting your Country and making yourselves heard. Regardless of who you voted for, you PARTICIPATED. We all from SO know that this is what it means to be BRAVE in the ATTEMPT!!

Here are some of our Area voters...
David Kellet-Forsyth
Jeff Cogswell
Joey Messaros
Zach Fowler
Ben Fowler
Patrick Farrell
Christian Graham
Kyler Reese
Chris Robinson
Jenna Endahl
Natalie Beck
Olivia Baker
Congratulations to all of our Combine medal winners...
Area 26 shined in the State Fall Combine. We had a total of 88 athletes (6 teams and several individual competitors) participate in the 8 week program. Of all the participants, the following athletes completed and submitted the required results for the Fall Combine - Way to keep up the effort!!
Warhawks Volleyball - Team and Individual GOLD:

Kia Hill, Coach Barry, Sean Minnick, Kyler Reese, Hoang Phan, Tammy Kiser, Max Hershberger, Alex Mitrouchtchenkov, Coach Alina, Jeff Cogswell and Ben Fowler
Individual Medals:

Amy Lai
Tara Lanigan
Jack Abdo
John Kuzel
Matthew Pizzano
Robert Pizzano
Amanda Johnson

Billy Duquette
Andrew Jones
Virtual Activities Update...
Area 26 Community,

Thanks for participating in our Fall virtual season. Our coaches and volunteers have really enjoyed getting to see your smiling faces on a weekly basis. The Winter schedule will be up soon (look for a blast...)

Some teams are taking breaks during this Holiday season, but many others will be active during December.
Definitely keep an eye on the website & facebook pages to figure out what's going on. If you're part of a Fall/Winter sport, stay tuned for relevant communication from your coaches. 
Note for December

Zumba is at a new time now (Tuesday, 5:30). 
"Keep moving athletes!!...."
Additional Activities- Don't forget about Yoga, Dance Party and more that occur each week! ((
Pre-recorded classes continue...
If your schedule makes it hard to meet our live virtual events and practices, check out what we have to offer for exercises you can fit into your busy schedule!
Keep up the energy everybody! 
Fit-5 Fitness Pals Monthly Update...
The Fit5-Five...Chris, Tom, Dave, Max and Kyler have been keeping up their energy to set the best example for Area 26. Here they are at it again this month!!
Max Hershberger all in on an outdoor workout
Tom Merz continues his reign as Pushup KING!!...
...And Chris Robinson, Max and Kyler trying to keep up!
David doing a stair drill on the bleachers
You can still check out their Workout Video on our YouTube Site by clicking the button.
Athletes Corner
  • by Jeff Cogswell

Hello Area 26!!

The 2020 Virtual Fall Combine Workout, the Warhawks Volleyball team was the only team that got a Gold Medal for Area 26. Even with our current health situation of COVID-19 isolation, for 8 weeks the Warhawks stayed strong and stuck with it through the positive coaching from Head Coach Alina Tilton.

COVID-19 has us living life and doing things differently these days just so we hopefully remain safe and healthy, and doing sports virtually has taken on a whole new meaning. For the Warhawks players to stay active and wanting to participate and bring home the Gold for Area 26 says a lot about them and their coaches.

Thank you Alina and Barry Tilton (Assistant Coach) for your time and dedication to our special athletes, and thank you athletes for hanging in there and being strong and healthy – congratulations on a well deserved GOLD medal!
-Talk to you all next month,
Higher risk of death from COVID-19 in individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities
By Katherine B. Martin, PhD

We know these past months during the COVID-19 pandemic have been challenging to navigate. We have all struggled to determine the appropriate risks for our families. Many in-person activities have been cancelled; family trips have been postponed, and our holidays will likely look a lot different this year. 

When it comes to weighing the risks in making family decisions, little information is available, especially as it pertains to our special needs families. And it is ever changing as we continue to learn more about this terrible virus. As a research scientist myself, it can seem overwhelming to keep up with the latest data and findings. 

Recently, a paper was published by scientists at FAIR Health in collaboration with Dr. Marty Makary at John Hopkins University that highlighted the COVID-19 related risks for individuals with intellectual and developmental disorders. The results were staggering and stopped me in my tracks. 

Individuals with developmental and intellectual disorders are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than individuals without the disorders. Three times more likely to die if they become infected by Coronavirus. Let that sink in. 

This summary is not meant to scare you, but it is meant to highlight recent findings by experts that are directly applicable to our special needs families. I wanted to share these findings, the paper, and the New York Times article that summarized the study so that you can make the most informed decision for you and your family. 

Stay safe. Stay vigilant. Stay informed by public health experts and the scientists. We will all get through this together. 

Staying Active is the key for now!!
While staying physically active and fit is definitely a focus, we all need to keep busy doing things that matter and things that are just FUN. Here are some pictures of some of our Area teams and how they are using the time...
Vinnie Roubin doing the YOUniquely Fit Online workout
Coach Mike and Coach Brian host two weekly sessions on Tuesday and Thursday.
GMU Pride Coach Gutkowski working out with Ryan Gutkowski, Jenny Holden, Elizabeth Eisenberg, Meredith Cripe, Jack Shepherd, and Jeanette Simon.

Green Machine Zooming for BBall again this month...

Jeyoon Cho, Coach Jeff, Kyler Reese, Patrick Farrell, Jeffrey Eskridge, Patrick Kelly, Zach Fowler, Joey Messaros and Tyler O’Hara
Jeanette Simon
Elizabeth Eisenberg
Ameer Malik
Jenny Holden
GMU Mason Nation Team Zoom
Patrick DeLapp's Eagles Zoom Extravaganza
We love to have your inputs - so keep busy and...
NBA Online Camp - Take 3 - December 3

Coming up in just two days, is another Jr. NBA Special Olympics Camp – Online. This camp will take place during Special Olympics European Basketball Week but all Regions are welcome to join. 

Calling all Basketball fans and players...This clinic is not just for athletes but Unified partners and coaches as well. 

This is a free international camp, all you need to do to be part of the camp is register through the OWQLO App and enjoy the camp dedicated to basketball! The OWQLO app can be downloaded on Apple or Android at the App store / Google Play.

Please remember to subscribe in the Jr. NBA Special Olympics Camp – Online banner in the OWQLO App.

The Jr. NBA Special Olympics Camp – Online will run from 11:00 am here in VA to 12:25pm on Thursday December 3.  

Please note the times on the website are BRITISH STANDARD TIME which is 6 hours ahead. The workout is at 11 local in Virginia.
Stay Healthy, Stay Active!!
Revealing the Champion in all of us...
Hail and Farewell
After many years of dedicated service, Councilmember Paul Tierney will be leaving the Area 26 Council. He will remain as Softball Coordinator. We thank him for all of his help throughout his time with us, and wish him the best.
Upcoming Events
December: Winter Programs will begin (look for announcements).
Please continue to share information about this newsletter and website with those you know in the community so that we can better share the wonder of our special athletes and volunteers. To sign up to receive the newsletter, go to our webform Newsletter Subscription
Area 26 Points of Contact
Area 26 Council

Elaine Tilton

Chuck Adkins-Blanch
Jeff Cogswell
Patrick DeLapp
Barb DeLisa
Billy Duquette
Bruce Fingerhut
Jay Hoffmeier
Veronica Jennings
Nancy Julia
Abby Lacy
Katherine Martin
Jeff McGiboney
Nancy Robbins
Bernie Woolfley
Area 26 Special Olympics |
Season Directors
Elaine Tilton, Fall/Winter

Nancy Julia, Spring/Summer

Barry Tilton

Volunteer Coordinator
Bruce Fingerhut

Medical Coordinator
Barb DeLisa

Senior Director, Potomac Region
Veronica Jennings
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