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Health and Wellness

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There is a mistaken belief that people with intellectual disabilities receive the same or better health care than others - they typically receive sub-standard care, or virtually no health care at all.  At Special Olympics Kansas we are dedicated to the overall well-being of our athletes, coaches and families and have developed and implemented several programs to promote health and wellness in our community.

New Healthy Habits Program 

Healthy Habits is a lifestyle changing, health education program that will be taught by coaches to their athletes with the goal for of improving each athlete’s ability to train and compete in Special Olympics. By providing athletes with tools to advance their health, fitness, and over quality of life and by teaching preventative care practices, Healthy Habits reinforces the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle and integrating healthy choices into an athlete’s day-to-day routine. 

There are six lessons: hydration, sun safety, exercise and stretching, hand washing, nutrition, and oral health.  Coaches and guardians are the best advocates for the athletes, as such, it will be up to the coaches to decide who will teach the lessons. The lessons are to be spread out over a six month period. Each lesson should only take 10-15 minutes and will take the form of discussion in a manner that is informative and fun.  Athletes will take short quizzes after each lesson and will receive incentives at the end of the program. Each team will receive a $60 stipend at the completion of the program requirements. 

Teams can register online at the link:

or by contacting the Special Olympics Kansas office at 913-236-9290 x110 to get the registration form.  Coaches will receive a packet with program instructions, lesson information, and athlete brochures.  The team coach will fill out the needed forms and send them to SOKS with the pre-stamped envelope.


Watch this 2 minute testimonial from parents about the benefits of Healthy Athletes.

Watch this video to learn about the impact Health and Wellness Programs make on Special Olympics Athletes by increasing access and saving lives.


SOKS Healthy Communities
This program provides: 
  • Regional Clinics and Health Fairs
  • Information on Health Clinics and Service Providers
  • Tools to help you and your family develop healthy lifestyles
  • Resources in the community that will support your family fitness and nutritional goals
  • Motivation/Inspiration to keep you on track - Personal Stories of Success

Click here to find Healthy Communities resources

Click here to learn more about Healthy Communities.

This program has been offered by SOKS since 2003 and provides health screenings free of charge to SOKS athletes at competition venues. Offered in a welcoming, family friendly and fun environment, these screenings educate athletes on healthy life style choices and identify problems that may need additional professional follow-up. Click on the links to learn more.

Free medical screenings are offered in a number of disciplines:

Healthy Hearing
Health Promotion
Opening Eyes
Special Smiles

Shape-Up Kansas is a program designed to increase the fitness level among SOKS athletes while encouraging them to develop healthy habits. Programs allow athletes to work alone or in groups. The Shape-Up program expects participants to meet set goals while working with a Shape-up Coordinator (Training companion).  
Bike4Life was developed by Coach John Lair of Pittsburg, and has an impressive weight loss record for both coaches and athletes who participate.
Train is a health assessment and educational program designed to assess Special Olympics athletes' sports skills and provide them with nutritional information while helping them to stay active, stay healthy, and achieve their personal best.
Healthy LEAP
Healthy LEAP (Lifestyle Education And Practice) is a series of health, nutrition, fitness and safety lessons delivered by coaces as part of weekly sport practices. Healthy LEAP lessons are reinforced by a multimedia information campaign of health messages delivered through text messages, email, webinars, flyers, and online videos. The series contain 8 lessons.
Special Olympics Kansas also produces a monthly Health E-newsletter which is distributed to families, coaches, and local program directors. To register for the E-newsletter please contact ochandac@ksso.org

Health and Wellness Programs are funded in part by grants from Amerigroup, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation, Sunflower Health, and Walmart.


Amerigroup      Sunflower Health


BlueCross BlueShield Foundation



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Healthy Athletes

Healthy Communities

Health Resources

Shape Up Kansas

Healthy Habits Team Registration

Family Opportunities

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