In 2018, more than 2,300 Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) athletes, coaches, and unified partners will travel from across the state to compete in the State Indoor Games March 16-18 in St. Joseph. The event will be the first of a three-year term for the Indoor Games, keeping them in St. Joseph through 2020. This is the first time a Special Olympics Missouri state event will be held in St. Joseph since 2013.
“We could not be more excited to return our State Games to St. Joseph for the next three years,” SOMO President/CEO Mark Musso said. “The community of St. Joseph has been tremendously generous to us over the years, and the events we have had there have been outstanding. We look forward to bringing this event to the people in this area and have everyone from across Missouri see all that St. Joseph has to offer.”
The State Indoor Games are the largest of three signature state events Special Olympics Missouri holds in a year and features athletes competing in bowling and basketball. The State Indoor Games had been held in Fort Leonard Wood and Waynesville/St. Robert area since 2015. Last year’s event saw 900 bowlers, 147 5-on-5 and 3-on-3 basketball teams and 52 basketball skills, participants. The competition will include traditional games, Unified Sports® (bringing together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities — people of similar age and athletic ability), team skills and individual skills.
The State Indoor Games will also feature Healthy Athletes Park, which offers free health screenings for athletes in up to seven disciplines: Special Smiles, FUN Fitness, Healthy Hearing, Fit Feet, Health Promotion, Opening Eyes and MedFest. Opening Ceremonies, Victory Village and a dance/bingo night for athletes will also be among the special events featured at the games.
SOMO’s North Area office is located in St. Joseph, and we are excited to work with the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to further our involvement with this community. The CVB estimates that the State Indoor Games will bring close to $1 million in estimated economic impact to the St. Joseph community per year.
“The St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau is excited to welcome Special Olympics Missouri to St. Joseph for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 State Indoor Games. The Visitors Bureau and Special Olympics have a long-standing partnership and have hosted many events over the past twenty years,” Lindsay Bernard, Sports Marketing Sales and Visitor Relations Manager for the CVB, said. “We are thrilled to bring the State Indoor Games back to town. The CVB, SOMO and other local partners will work together closely to ensure a successful event.”
The local venues that will be used for the St. Joseph State Indoor Games include: Belt Bowl, Southside Family Fun Center, Central High School, Bishop LeBlond High School, Lafayette High School, St. Joseph REC Center and Civic Arena
Volunteers play an enormously important role in the success of this event. A Games Management Team is being formed to plan and organize the event during the months leading up to it. An estimated 1,000 volunteers will be needed for the actual running of the competition. There are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available including fundraising, meal planning, special event planning, setup and more.
The event is expected to cost approximately $135,000. Sponsorships help underwrite the cost of the event and allow more opportunities for our athletes. For more information on serving on the committee, volunteering or sponsorships, contact Susan Shaffer at [email protected] or call 573-635-1660.