Kayla is from Loveland, Colorado and competes in the Northeast region. She competes in track and field running the 100M dash, 200M dash, softball throw, and 4×100 relay. Recently Kayla was in Seattle competing at the Special Olympics USA games where she brought home multiple medals. Kayla has a strong work ethic which makes her a standout athlete, but her big heart is what truly makes her special. At USA Games, Kayla was the epitome of sportsmanship for Team Colorado and others. When not competing, she cheered on her fellow teammates during their competitions and attending their award ceremonies. Kayla took the team’s schedule in stride and was a positive motivator for her teammates. When a teammate was discouraged about their event performance, Kayla would be there telling them they did their best. Kayla said, “Everyone here deserves to have people cheering for them.” Congratulations Kayla on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Female Athlete of the Month!
Desmon Wright was nominated by fellow Special Olympics Colorado athlete, Jeff Steron. Desmon has been competing as a Special Olympics Colorado athlete since 2011, and currently competes in track and field, basketball, bowling, and tennis. Desmon is Jeff’s bowling partner on the Rocky Mountain Team, and Jeff thought that Desmon should be recognized because he is a good friend, very supportive of his teammates, and is a great person to be around! For these reasons, we are happy to recognize Desmon as the Special Olympics Colorado Male Athlete of the Month!
Coach of the Month
Denise started out with DDRC as a unified partner when she was eight years old and was later groomed to become a coach. Four years ago, Denise started working at Spectrum and became a soccer coach the first year, and now she coaches softball, bowling, flag football, volleyball, and basketball! Spectrum has two teams per sport, and this year started a unified juniors basketball team! In 2014, Denise went to National Games in New Jersey as a unified partner with the DDRC Softball Team. Denise says, “Special Olympics Colorado (SOCO) has taught me not to underestimate anyone. SOCO provides a platform for the athletes to transcend any barrier society tries to put on them. It gives the athletes the opportunity to shine and show who they are! I always felt blssed to be a part of Special Olympics Colorado.”
Jennifer Regan has participated in Special Olympics for the past 30 years. Her Mom Beth, Dad Peter and her two sisters Kelly and Shannon have been very supportive of Jennifer. Jennifer’s Aunt Patti has been a longtime volunteer for Special Olympics Colorado by coaching, serving on the games management team, and fundraising for our athletes.
Jenny competes in bocce, bowling, aquatics, skiing, basketball, and track and field. Special Olympics Colorado has given Jennifer a place where she feels included and accepted. She has also gained the confidence to serve her Littleton community and is employed at Safeway. Beth says, “All families that are involved are like a community within itself. It has given Jennifer an opportunity to not only compete but to meet other people and that instills pride with themselves. Jennifer accepts people where they are in life.”
The Special Olympics Colorado volunteers of the month for August are Developmental Pathways! After having been involved with the Plane Pull for many years, their team decided to get involved with the Young Athletes Camp this summer. Over the course of the four-day camp, a total of 122 Developmental Pathways volunteers came out to help with our youngest athletes, aged 2-7. A favorite part from the group was interacting with the kiddos and being able to see them and their parents in a different capacity than what they are used to. Developmental Pathways is a Colorado non-profit agency created to serve persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities or delays (I/DD), and their families. As an organization, they are committed to enriching the lives of people with ID and Special Olympics Colorado is thankful for their dedicated volunteerism!
The Craig Kiwanis Club has sponsored the Craig Spring Games since before 1988! The Kiwanis Club provides all of the volunteers for the 3 venues, provides a dinner the night prior to our events, and runs the opening ceremony. One of the Kiwanis members even made a cauldron to light the Flame of Hope at the Opening Ceremony. The Kiwanis Club has also hosted Track and Field, Aquatics and the Western Region Powerlifting competition. They also coordinate with the Boy Scouts to present the colors and purchase lunch for our athletes prior to the awards ceremonies as well as present awards. Their team effort and dedication to our athletes is magnificent. Congratulations to the Kiwanis Club on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Community Partner of the Month.