Special Olympics Unified Fitness Clubs are locally organized fitness-focused groups that will give members a way to exercise year-round. Clubs are formed using the Unified Sports model, matching people with and without disabilities.
While walking is expected to be the primary activity, clubs will be encouraged to expand the range of activities based on the resources of the community and interest of the group. Clubs earn points by tracking activity data collected from a fitness band, with points accumulated to earn the club and individual members various incentives.
Membership: The Unified Club will be organized by co-Directors, Charlie Wilson (athlete) and Greg Townsend (Unified Partner), who will register the club with Special Olympics Indiana. All club members must be registered as a SOIN athletes or volunteers, with between 25% and 75% of members being individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Participation: Clubs are expected to organize an activity at least once per week and encourage members to be active outside of club activities. Walking is suggested to be the main activity because it is appropriate for all levels of fitness, it does not require a facility or equipment, and it helps participants earn miles quickly; however, other fitness activities can be done in conjunction with walking (hiking, stretching, yoga, Zumba, biking, strength training, etc.). Club activities may occur in conjunction with sports practice, but it must be activity beyond sports training or skill development. Clubs are year roung, with weekly exercise and once a month lesson on a health topic as provided by SO Indiana. Periodic challenges will be organized to focus training and create intra and inter-club interaction. Regional and state walks will be offered occasionally.
Activity Tracking: Steps/miles/moves will be tracked through SO Indiana provided MOVBands or other approved activity trackers. Data will be synced and recorded to the SO Indiana platform at least once per week. Both athletes and partners will use a tracking device. Club members will be asked to provide health metrics (height, weight, BP, RHR, steps, and lifestyle survey) to help document the impact of the program. Clubs and members earn incentives for reaching various levels of activity.
How to Join: Complete the Unified Fitness Club Membership Form and return to [email protected] or mail to SOIN-ROD, Unified Fitness Club, 429 Manchester St., Aurora, IN 47001. Everyone is encouraged to find a partner – athlete or Unified Partner. Then text SOFITCLUB to 84483 to receive information regarding when and where the club is meeting. Keep in mind there can be more than one club within SOIN-ROD, for example: there could be a club that meets weekly in Aurora, Versailles and/or Batesville. It just depends on where the interest is. And a club could just be two people – an athlete and Unified Partner.