Sean Morley


Oxford Fit 5

Oxford Special Olympics is excited to announce our participation in the brand new Special Olympics initiative, Fit 5.

Special Olympics International continues to innovate in its drive to improve the fitness, health, and overall wellness of its athletes. Special Olympics Connecticut has been on the forefront, most recently with the Unified Fitness Club, in which Oxford actively participates. Fit 5 is the next step – a multi-week program designed to educate our athletes on how fitness, nutrition and hydration impact their athletic performance and overall wellness. The goal is to provide them with the tools and motivation to make healthier lifestyle choices. Fit 5 focuses on three main wellness areas: physical activity, nutrition, and hydration. Goals for athletes include exercising 5 days per week, eating 5 fruits/vegetables per day and drinking 5 bottles of water per day. Athletes will also set their own goals that they see as achievable.

So what does this mean for Oxford? We will be starting a Fit 5 program, meeting Friday evenings at Oxford Center School, starting April 21 running through June 2. Each week we will cover practical information on fitness and nutrition, share our experiences, and participate in some fun activities. Maybe a walk – maybe a Zumba class. Participants will be asked to track how many days each week they exercise, how many servings of fruit and vegetables, and how many bottles of water they have each day. On the first and last session we will measure height, weight, waist size, and resting heart rate.

Interested? Partners and family are encouraged to sign up and participate as well. You can come for the activities and information even if you are not tracking. Please sign up at the link below so we know how many to expect. And don’t miss the first session on April 21st. Contact us if you have any questions.

Sign-up link: https://goo.gl/forms/eUJLHmYEeijaTg9E3

Sean Morley
Volunteer Communications Coordinator – Oxford Special Olympics


Brave in the Attempt

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Let me win,
But if I cannot win,
Let me be brave in the attempt.

“Let me be brave in the attempt.” What does that really mean? Well, Oxford athlete Matt Beland gave us a demonstration at the 2016 SOCT Summer Games.

Matt was registered for the 15K race on Sunday. 15 Kilometers. That’s 9 ⅓ miles. Matt had been training for the prior 10 weeks under the direction of his coaches, with help from his dad and support from his mom and brothers. He was ready. The race consisted of 24 (!) laps on the course laid out in the parking lot at Southern Connecticut State University. Matt entered the last lap hot on the tail of the athlete in the lead, with the rest of the field more than a lap behind.

Matt was drafting, a standard racing technique where you gain an aerodynamic advantage by riding close behind a competitor. His legs must have felt like rubber as he entered the turn, the Finish Line now within sight. Directly ahead was his cheering section, which included his teammates, coaches, parents and teacher. Matt made his move to pass when suddenly their tires touched and both athletes were thrown from their bicycles.

The crowd gasped in shock as Matt rolled and bounced in front of them. Emergency Room nurse (and Oxford Local Coordinator) Mo Blees ran to his aid. As Mo examined Matt, Coaches Ken and Allen quickly evaluated his bicycle – getting the chain back on the gears, unlocking the brakes, straightening the handlebars and most importantly, straightening out his twisted rim. Matt was scraped and bruised, but fortunately not badly injured.

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At this point most people would have called it a day. Matt, amazingly, wanted to continue. Both his coach and the official told Matt he could walk his bicycle across the Finish Line. The look on Matt’s face said that wouldn’t cut it – he was there to ride! His coach warned him that the bike would be very wobbly, so take it easy. Matt didn’t. He hoisted his battered body back onto his battered bicycle and completed the course, finishing in Second Place. But we don’t care about that; we are impressed that he even got back on that bicycle.

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Matt faced a challenge. He prepared for that challenge. He ran into a major obstacle. He rose above that obstacle. Matt was truly BRAVE IN THE ATTEMPT.
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And now he has quite a story to tell.

Thank you to Sean Morley, Allen Aldrich, Ken Maciecki and Mo Blees for contributing to this.


OSO Golf and Croquet practice



Golf and Croquet Training begin Tuesday, July 7 at Oxford Greens Golf Club, 99 Country Club Rd, Oxford, CT.
Practice will be held every Tuesday (until competition in September) from 6:00pm until 8:00pm – really until we get tired, it gets dark, or the coaches kick us out.

Open to all athletes and Unified Partners (must have valid registration forms filled out). No prior experience necessary; come learn or improve your skills. Volunteers always welcome.
Bring golf clubs if you have them, or we can provide some for you (limited availability).

There is NO COST, due to the generosity of Oxford Greens Golf Course donating the use of practice tees, practice green, balls, etc.

Please respect the few simple rules of the club.

Dress Code: Collared shirt, dress shorts, sneakers or golf shoes with no metal spikes. NO TEE SHIRTS, NO JEANS allowed!

Common sense prevails – No shouting or loud talking in vicinity of practice greens or tees – Golf courses are typically quiet for the concentration of the participants – No swinging of golf clubs off of the practice tees or without the direction of your coach. Listen to your coach!!

Croquet Practice will be held right at the Golf Course, concurrent with Golf Practice. Equipment will be provided. (I’m told there are no horses – that’s Polo.)
Same dress code, same rules of behavior, also no cost. Come give it a try!

Golf Dates

  • Golf Skills Jamboree – Saturday, July 19, Lyman’s Orchards (optional)
  • Alternate Shot Golf Invitational – Saturday, Aug. 22, Orange Hills Golf Course (optional – THIS IS FOR GOLF PAIRS COMPETING AT THE GAMES)
  • SOCT Fall Sports Festival Golf Competition – Sunday, Sept, 13, 12:30pm – 5:00pm, Sleeping Giant Golf Course

Croquet Dates

  • SOCT Unified Croquet Invitational – Elizabeth Park, West Hartford, CT
  • Fall Sports Festival Croquet Competition – September 19 & 20, Ocean House, Watch Hill, RI

Larry has already updated the calendar on www.oxfordso.org. Check there for details. Updates will be disseminated via email and Facebook.

I look forward to seeing you at practice!

Sean Morley


Oxford Special Olympics Soars at the 2015 SOCT Winter Games

The Athletic and Social event of the season for me and a number of my friends occurred on the weekend of Feb. 28 & Mar. 1. Special Olympics Connecticut held their 2015 Winter Games at multiple venues across the state, with competitions in Cross Country and Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, Figure and Speed Skating, and Floor Hockey. The weekend was filled with challenging and rewarding competition, as well as the opportunity for participants to spend time with old friends and make new ones. Many stayed over at hotels near the competition with their teams and coaches. And Saturday night’s Dinner and Dance was a blowout celebration for all!

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