Who We Are and What We Do
Established in 2001, Sports for Special Athletes (SSA) is a ‘grass-roots’, community-based sport and recreation organization. SSA endeavours to open new doors of integrated opportunities. Our programs are designed for people with special needs, ages 5 years and up. Locally based, our participants live primarily in Waterloo region.
SSA promotes fitness, leisure, social and recreational activities through training with and supervision by experienced coaches and dedicated volunteers. Some volunteers have family member that are athletes in SSA. Leveraging this experience, passion and commitment, they provide a superior experience for the athletes.
Our volunteers and athletes are people just like you and me. We are your friends, neighbours and coworkers. Coaches and volunteers have regular police checks for the protection of our registrants.
We offer programs throughout the spring/summer and fall/winter seasons. Our special athletes enjoy a wide variety of activities such as, 5 & 10 pin bowling, non-contact martial arts, adapted swimming, adapted yoga, floor hockey, boccia ball, mini-golf, softball (3 ability levels), soccer (2 ability levels), basketball, lawn bowling, power lifting, speed skating, curling and the annual Christmas party. We use city and school facilities and sport fields.
Yearly registration is very affordable. All sports and activities are heavily subsidized for everyone. Special fee assistance is available for those in need of assistance, aided by the Kitchener Sports Association. We conduct fundraising and accept donations. As a charitable organization, we are able to issue tax receipts for amounts of $20.00 or more.
We enjoy partnerships with City of Kitchener Aquatics, Kitchener Soccer Association, KW Minor Basketball, Kitchener Kicks, KW Sertoma Speed skating, Heritage Greens Lawn Bowling Club and hope to forge many more successful alliances in the years to come.
With over 200 participants annually, we continue to grow and welcome newcomers to Sports for Special Athletes.
We Recognize the Ability – Not the Dis-Ability!
A brief History
A small group of volunteers and parents decided that the time had come to form a ‘grass root’, community focused sport and recreation organization that would better serve the needs of individuals with special needs in Waterloo region.
Development of the group began in late 2000 and sports were begun in early 2001. From a core group of 30+ athletes and 3 sports, we now have more than 200 participants and more than 16 different sport and recreational opportunities.
Sports for Special Athletes puts the focus on the Ability not the Disability. This new organization has allowed the freedom to introduce any sport or recreational activity which is determined to be of interest and benefit to these athletes. We now have the freedom to integrate sports with partner groups in the community.
Fundraising occurs throughout the year and combined with community and individuals’ donations, allows SSA to heavily subsidize all sports so they are affordable. No athlete is turned away for lack of funds.
In addition to a broad range of activities, we have also enjoyed participation in parades, in ball tournaments as team ambassadors as well as various fundraising events and other unique community endeavours.
We have an experienced Board of Directors and an Executive who meets monthly throughout the year. Several Athlete Representatives are voting members of the Executive committee and bring forward comments and concerns from all participants. Every member of SSA (athletes and volunteers) has a vote at our Annual General Meeting in November of each year.
Celebrating our 10th year in 2010 was a highlight and as we work through our second decade in operation there is even more to celebrate for all that we have accomplished in over 20 years!
We welcome new volunteers and athletes who share our vision of providing affordable sport and recreational opportunities for our children and neighbours with special needs.
We invite you to participate in our future!
Cost: Annual membership is currently very low. This covers liability insurance, facility costs and administrative costs in-curred by volunteers. Sport costs vary from sport to sport but are generally substantially less than regular community sport fees. Family memberships are also available as are corporate and sponsor member-ships.
Facilities: Our participants use safe, clean public facilities such as the Family Fitness Su-per Club and RIM Park. They become members of sports groups (i.e. Ontario Powerlifting Association, Heritage Lawn Bowling Club, K-W Ser-toma Speed Skating Club).