SGMC Supports Special Olympics Through Physicals

Staff Report From Valdosta CEO

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

SGMC physicians Drs. Cliff Thomas and Kyle Adams, along with nurses Cassaundra Conaway and Erica Tucker, provided physicals for more than 60 adults with specials needs on Wednesday at the Lowndes Advocacy Resource Center. The physicals are good for three years and allow individuals to participate in Special Olympics activities.
According to Special Olympics Georgia Sports and Program Manager December Storey, sometimes it's difficult to get completed copies of required paperwork from those interested in participating. However, having Drs. Adams and Thomas come to LARC eliminates that hurdle, spurring more participation. “We are thankful for the willingness of these physicians to take time out of their schedule to make this happen,” she said.
Dr. Adams expressed his own gratitude, "Being able to provide assistance to an exceptional organization as the Special Olympics is an honor, especially when the participants are our own citizens right here in Lowndes County.” Dr. Thomas echoed that sentiment noting the remarkable work of the Special Olympics and the privilege of serving these amazing individuals in his home town of Valdosta.
Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports training and competition program for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Special Olympics Georgia currently offers year-round athletic training and competition in 25 sports to 27,115 athletes with disabilities across the state of Georgia.
SOGA’s year-round programs create awareness, educates the public on disabilities, and they also help foster acceptance of children and adults with disabilities. Through their participation, Special Olympics athletes overcome rejection, physical limitations and fear.  When a person with a disability competes successfully in an event and demonstrates their best, negative attitudes and stereotypes are erased.
Special Olympics Georgia Area 15 currently offers athletic training and sports competition to over 675 registered athletes in Lowndes, Lanier, Cook, Clinch, and Tift counties. Athletes are able to participate at the local, area, state,  regional, and world level. Area 15 hosts Fall and Spring Games each year in Valdosta, Georgia for special education students to attend.
Beginning in 2018, Area 15 will host the first annual Spring Games for adults with special needs.  VLPRA and LARC are partnering together to host this wonderful event. Athletes will participate in athletic competitions and are provided snacks and lunch for the day; all completely free of charge to the individual.