Special Olympics program continues to grow at Fort Carson
April 11, 2013
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Following weeks of practice, Family members of Fort Carson's two Special Olympics basketball teams took to the court for a friendly scrimmage to test their abilities.
The first sport organized following a Special Olympics grant awarded in the summer, basketball will soon be followed by softball and track and field.
Dale Veneklasen, a coach for one of the two post teams, said there was a need to establish a program on post for athletes with special needs. He said the grant got the program off to a "great start," helping fund uniforms and equipment, but there was another key element needed to help the program get established -- support from the post command structure.
"This has been a wonderful program because the command team on post and the post community have embraced it, and they have supported what the Family members and the kids are trying to do through the sports program," he said. "Now we have two solid teams that will represent Fort Carson in our basketball program with athletes that have remarkable skills."
The emphasis for the basketball program has been to work with the athletes on the fundamentals of the game, which, according to Veneklasen, the players are picking up well.
Although basketball has already begun, new athletes are encouraged to come out and test their skills. Teams continue to practice the fundamentals of the sport, such as dribbling, free-throw shooting and passing, while testing their abilities in a friendly competition.