Unified Sports

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


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.


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.

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.

April Walks/Hikes

walkingThe OSO Unified Fitness Club is on the move!
We have upcoming events, and we need to know if you are coming!

=> SOCT Universal Pin Walk(PLEASE NOTE: the Universal Walk is only for club members duly registered with SOCT and as Unified Sports® Fitness club members.  If you are not registered, you would be permitted to transport family members but not participate in the walk)  Sunday, April 17, 2016, 9:30am at the Gunnery School, 22 Kirby Rd, Washington, CT. The Unified Fitness Club is about participation rather than competition. Instead of State Games they have Universal Walks so that teams can get together and have some friendly fun and fitness. Oxford has one of the more active groups, so we want to make a good showing. But we MUST register in advance – this week! – so we really, Really, REALLY need to know if you can attend.
PLEASE click the link below and register your intent.

The Universal Walk will feature a fitness walk, 5 activity stations, a healthy snack, and a souvenir pin.

=> OSO Hike/Walk, Sunday April 3 in Woodbridge. Fitzgerald / Cornfield Walking Path, corner of Center Rd and Beecher Rd, 1:00pm.


Join us for January Hike

Join us for our January Hike in Woodbridge, CTSaturday January 23, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Near 138 Beecher Road, Woodbridge, CT

Mary Beth Morley and Sean P. Morley will be our “Guides” for the day.

Come join the Fitness Club for some Winter Fun!

OSO hike 2

Oxford Special Olympics joins SOCT Unified Sports® Fitness Club

Oxford Special Olympics has had our 3rd hike/walk in 6 weeks, and some of the hikers have signed up with Special Olympics Unified Sports® Fitness Club (for more information see Unified Sports® Fitness Club).

The Club follows the Unified Sports® Recreational Model focusing on participation rather than competition. Each Club participant receives an individual tracking device which is used to monitor individual and Club progress. The Club provides the platform for individuals to challenge themselves and earn individual and Club rewards.

If Interested in joining us, please let Sean P. Morley or Larry Doherty know that you would like to join and we will see about enrolling you. (If you are affiliated with OSO and have your own FitBit or other device, you can also join us.)

#TeamOSOct #OxfordSpecialOlympics

OSO December Hike – FITNESS WALK

OSO hike 2

Join us for our 3rd Hike of the Fall (it’s not winter YET) – SUNDAY DECEMBER 6, 2015 1:00 pm

We will be on the Bridle Trail off Route 188 in Oxford (Strongtown RD) – coming from Oxford down 67 (not coming from Southbury way), there’s Rt 188 that goes off to the left (deli store on corner and there’s a traffic light there). Not sure which direction that 188 goes, but you DON’T want to take that left. A little further down 67 is a Right hand turn that is also 188. That’s also at a light. Take that right hand turn and just before the firehouse on the right (it’s not even a quarter mile down 188) there’s a dirt parking area. That will hold up to maybe 20 cars if people are creative about how they arrange themselves.
(Thank you Trish Whitehouse for these concise directions)

Bring some water and a snack – dress warm and lets get some exercise.

For those interested, OSO has joined the SOCT Unified Sports Fitness Club (http://www.soct.org/sports-and-fitness-programs/unified-sports-fitness-clubs/) and we currently have 15 people enrolled – members will be getting a MovBand (like a fitbit) to keep track of moves, steps, miles – If Interested in joining us, please let Sean P. Morley or Larry Doherty know that you would like to join and we will see about enrolling you.

(The Movbands are DONATED, and they do require a computer and a seperate email address for each band to SYNC your stats – if you do not use the MovBand, you will be asked to return it to SOCT for use by someone who WILL use it)

We will be holding “Fitness Walks” or hikes or even possibly walking at the mall if its too cold outside, so please think about joining us, but your moves WILL BE TRACKED by SOCT and OSO and if it’s not being used, will be asked for it back (just saying).