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011519 Special Olympics Basketball

Special Olympics athletes stretch before basketball practice.

Special Olympics has officially opened enrollment for the 2019 basketball season in the Santa Ynez Valley, offering athletes an opportunity to participate from February through June.

Anyone interested in becoming a team member must fill out an application and provide medical clearance from a qualified physician for Special Olympics. In addition to basketball, bocce ball and possibly swimming will be offered based on volume of interest.

For more information or to register, contact Tim Ballaret at 805-884-1516, ext. 4, email


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The recently launched Southern California's Santa Barbara (SOSC) region "Team Wellness" program which aims to support Special Olympics athletes to lead happier, healthier, and more active lifestyle, will meet weekly for eight weeks each Sunday from Jan. 6 through Feb. 24 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Participating athletes will take part in group exercises and stretching, learn about the importance of eating healthy, and take home weekly exercise homework to keep themselves accountable.

New athletes must complete a Special Olympics application packet, which includes a signed physical from a doctor, before they can participate. Applications are available at Youth Empowered, located at 320 Alisal Rd. #106, Solvang or by emailing Tim Ballaret at 805-884-1516, ext. 4 or email 

Team Wellness is an inclusive activity so family, friends, and community members without an intellectual disability can join in with athletes by signing up as a Unified Partner. For more information email

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This report was compiled by Lisa André. You can reach her at Follow her on Twitter @LAndréSYVNews