The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

Nov 5, 2012

Special Olympics Young Athletes 2012-13 kickoff

Building a stronger foundation, to ensure the most promising tomorrow can never start too soon!  
While people with Down Syndrome have more advantages and resources at their disposal to assist them in living successful and full-filling lives (compared to that of  yesteryear) - the future's lookin' bright!...they still, however, have much to overcome...along with the intellectual disability that accompanies this extra chromosome also comes various physical challenges.  People with DS have low tone, so it is important to work on proper form and technique at an early age.  Macy WILL do everything her big sister does.  It may take a little bit longer and she may just have to work a tiny bit  whole lot harder.  But that is okay.  This makes conquering each new goal ALL THE MORE REWARDING!!  No milestone goes uncelebrated  :)

We had our first Special Olympics "Young Athletes Program" of the season last night.   15 Young Athletes and siblings participated!!  Great showing  :-)

The PT students did a wonderful job of keeping it organized, structured and keeping our kiddos engaged the entire time.  Sure, there were a few "escapees" every now and again, that's going to happen, but everyone did a great job scooping and rounding them up!  Bringing the runaways back into the mix. 
Macy enjoyed getting together with her friends and is already looking forward to next week!!
A big thanks to the staff at Special Olympics NE (especially Hannah) for supporting this program.  Tony and the D.A.D.S. group for getting it started 8 years back, The UNMC PT students (led by Emily & Danielle) for contributing their time and talents to our amazing kiddos, and a HUGE thanks to Elite Cheer for allowing us to utilize this great space year after year.  This venue is centrally located and lends itself PERFECTLY to this type of activity.  The gymnastics mat is especially forgiving to our little one's knees as they learn new skills & abilities.   

I am excited to be playing a more significant part in it this year (from the parents perspective).  Just want to keep my finger on the pulse and ensure it continues to thrive!  I also want to assist in the area of communication to make sure everyone knows what's going on and always feels welcome!

Here are some pics from last night  :-)
They formed circles at opening and closing where they stretched and sang songs, well as about every 10-15 minutes to bring the kids together and refocus their attention.  I think that was a great idea and very efficient at achieving that goal!
Hi Addi!
she's sure got Macy's, Eisley's & Jaxson's attention here
go Jaxson go.
Eisley, Charlie & her big bro Bobby.
Brady takes a turn going through the tunnel
Hannah helps Charlie & Vollen out with the balls.
Macy spinning with the scarfs.
This activity kept her attention for quite some time.   It was like she was off in her own little world!
oops.  Vollen takes a break to watch the cute cheerleaders down in the gym below.  Can you blame him?  hehe  silly boy!
Jaxson's big sister is SUCH a good helper!!
perfecting her balance beam skills.
hula-hoops are always a win-win for Macy!
so much fun to be had with a simple hula-hoop.
Eisley and her sister RUSH excitedly to the next station.
over & under...well...mostly under for Miss Eisley.  Whatever gets you to finish huh?   :-)  GOOD JOB!
Brady trying to figure out what his silly parents are up to...
The Young Athletes Program not only teaches productive movement and strengthens physical development, it just as importantly facilitates an awesome opportunity for our children to get together regularly and form a tight-knit bond that will (hopefully) last forever.  These friendships and steadfast camaraderies are just getting started!   It will carry through to when they are able to compete on a more competitive level in the Special Olympics Program.  This will benefit each of them ON and OFF the field of play.  :-)

We want to, of course, expose Miss Macy to as much as possible.  Whether, she finds her niche to be art, music, dance, drama, etc...I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I honestly want nothing more than to see my baby girl "shine" in the area of sports some day!  I feel she will be a "better, more well-rounded" person for it.


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