Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization that is dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Johnson County (SOJC) is your local chapter to this great organization. SOJC provides year round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in order to create experiences like the joy of achievement, being included in the community, building skills, developing leadership abilities, and making lifelong friends.
Special Olympics provides a variety of competition opportunities to athletes of all abilities by offering official events of varying degrees of difficulty and challenge. Most Special Olympics events have few differences from the sport played by individuals without disabilities.
- Athlete Leadership Program(ALPs): Through ALPs athletes can serve on the board of directors or local organizing committees. Athletes excel as spokespersons, team captains, coaches, officials, and volunteers.
- Motor Athletes Training Program(MATP): Provides participation for individuals with significant disabilities requiring the greatest assistance and support. Usually coordinated through our group home staff.
- Unified Sports: Provides individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to partner on the same team for training and competition.
- Project Unify: Aims to create a positive, inclusive school climate through a variety of Special Olympics programs such as Get Into It(school-wide awareness curriculum) and Spread the word to end the word
- Young Athletes: Offered to children age 2-7 with disabilities. The overall goal is to increase the children’s strength and coordination for participation in sports and preparing them for future competition. SOJC’s local program is called Play Skills.
County Management Team
County Coordinator: Linda Boothe
Utility Player: Rita and Roger Abell
Rita and Roger Abell are the parents of two, Rachel and Ryan, and grandparents of four boys . Roger has worked for Raytheon for 30 years. Rita is now a full time volunteer and stay-at home Mom & Nana, though she has over 25 years of bookkeeping and accounting experience. They have lived in Greenwood and Johnson County since 1991. Rita & Roger have been Co-County Coordinators for Special Olympics Johnson County (SOJC) since January of 2006, they have helped & have been involved with Special Olympics for over twenty years. Both have been on the SOJC board for over 10 years, coaching, volunteering, fundraising, helping where needed. Ryan started participating in Special Olympics at age 8, (1991) and he participates year round in SOJC sports. Roger has coached basketball, track & field, softball, flag football and power lifting and has been a partner for unified sports. Rita helped organize Johnson County ALPs program in 2007. Rita has coached golf, basketball & softball skills and power lifting. Both are active with all fundraising events, award Banquets and both fill in where ever needed. Rita has been SOJC Treasurer, Volunteer, Outreach, Fundraising & Event Coordinator over the years.
For both Rita and Roger, “It is all about the Athletes!” And Most Important? “Is to Have Fun!”
Treasurer: Lesli Schmitz
Secretary: Becki Miller
Hi, my name is Becki Miller and I’m a member of Special Olympics Johnson County’s Management team. I was born and raised on the southside of Indianapolis and attended Emmerich Manual High School. My husband of 21 years, Mike Miller, is also a southsider and he graduated from Southport. We currently live in Southport, Indiana with our three children, Skylar (20) a Southport graduate, Scott (18) graduating this year from Southport, and our youngest Storm (14). I enjoy being a board member and partner for SOJC. Currently I’m the bowling and corn toss coach. My family and I enjoy spending time with our athletes and attend events as we can. Service to others is where I find my greatest joy and SOJC allows me to help others and further the cause for Special Olympics Indiana.
I became involved with Special Olympics basketball and bowling about 30 years ago. This was a way to allow my high school students with cognitive disabilities to be active and competitive and have a social circle outside of school hours. The added benefit that I had not anticipated was that their parents came along and stayed to help. It then became a way for parents to network and form friendships that never would have taken place. It is my passion and my privilege to volunteer with my very special friends involved in Special Olympics. As sports dir., I have the ability to bring other people to this organization as coaches and/or volunteers. They have the opportunity to get to know our athletes as friends, who happen to have amazing gifts, abilities and talents even besides sports. Now that I am retired, I have the opportunity to widen my scope and meet athletes and volunteers in Florida as well as Indiana. How good is that!
Business Liaison: Rachael Kwilosz
Hi my name is Rachael Kwilosz. I am originally from Central Florida and I moved to Central Indiana 22 years ago. Today I live in Greenwood, IN with my husband of 26 years Dave and our daughters Katie (21) and Allison (17). My daughter Allison and my husband also volunteer with SOJC. I am an Instructional Assistant at Whiteland Community High School and I was inspired to get involved with Special Olympics after being invited by some of my students to come watch them play sports. I have really enjoyed working with the athletes and I was happy to become a part of the management team in the Spring of 2016. As the Business Liaison I work with Johnson County Businesses to develop partnerships with area business and Special Olympics Johnson County. I assist with acquiring donations; help with the organization of events; help with bowling and track and field.
Athlete Representative: Chelsea Davis
Hi My Name is Chelsea Davis and I have been apart of Special Olympics for nine years. I do volleyball, softball, bowling and swimming. I enjoying having fun with family and friends as well as getting active. I am apart of the Athlete Leadership program and enjoy learning new leadership skills like coaching and being a better speaker for Special Olympics. I am apart of the County Management Team as the Athlete Representative. I am also apart of the Area 8 Management Team for the State Office as the Area 8 Alps Coordinator. I am an Alps instructor for Alps University for the last four years. I enjoy teaching other athletes how to become leaders and learn how to serve on Boards. I teach Introduction to Alps. Special Olympics has given me the opportunity to play the sports that I wasn’t able to do in high school.
Special Olympics Johnson County is a not-for-profit organization, funded through private donations and fundraising projects.
For more Information Contact us by:
Mail: Special Olympics Johnson County
500 EarlyWood Dr
Franklin IN 46131