You hear businesses say they want to give back and be a part of the community. What does it look like? How does a group of professionals step up and actually make a meaningful difference outside of the four walls of their daily working environment?
Is it providing STEAM programs for kids? It is. Is it visits to warm the hearts of sick kids in the hospital? Definitely. Collecting toys, clothing, and food for those in need? You bet.
When Frisco’s Texas Legends basketball team claims community involvement, they truly practice what they preach outside of the game of basketball, impacting those in need in their communities. But, this team has found a way to also support their community ON the court, too, and it’s culminating this Friday night, March 15 in Comerica Arena.
The Texas Legends have partnered with Toyota to celebrate Special Olympics Texas and Toyota’s efforts to further movement and inclusion for everyone. Special Olympics Night on Friday will provide a message of unity through sports, celebrating 50 years of progress through the efforts of Special Olympics athletes, advocates, and volunteers.
Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas provides opportunities for more than 58,800 Texas children and adults with intellectual disabilities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship.
Tim Martin, Special Olympics Texas president and CEO explains that these partnerships with Toyota and the Texas Legends, not only help further their movement within the sports community, but empower athletes as well.
Through amazing partnerships like this, the athletes of Special Olympics Texas are able to truly reveal their greatness, and further connect with their community.
What the athletes and families of athletes get out of participating in SOTX is multi-layered. While it may start as a way to simply play a sport they have interest in, there’s much more to gain from self-esteem to leadership skills.
- Physical exercise positively impacts health, mood, and anxiety.
- Emphasis on sports training helps athletes maintain a healthy weight.
- Athletes participate in activities that enhance their self-esteem and help them see that they can achieve goals that they set for themselves.
- Athletes have many opportunities to make new friends and socialize in an environment that is accepting and encouraging.
- Travel opportunities allow athletes to gain life experiences and skills that will positively impact all areas of their lives.
- The Athlete Leadership Programs offer athletes opportunities to get involved in decision-making, public speaking, and leadership roles in their communities.
Unifying the Game
Leading up to the 7:30 pm tipoff on Friday, Toyota will host a unified matinee game with Special Olympics athletes and Toyota team members. During the game, attendees are invited to participate in various unified games in the Legends Kids’ Zone to promote inclusive activities.
Unified® Sports involve people with and without intellectual disabilities, and they promote inclusion in sports and everyday life. It’s a brilliant way to include and incorporate all types of athletes together on the same playing field. The program brings community partners, like Toyota, together to play and work with athletes with disabilities to well, unify, them and help close the gap that otherwise exists.
Special Olympics adopted Unified® Programs in 1989 to expand sports opportunities for athletes seeking new challenges while also elevating their inclusion in the community. More than 3,000 athletes and partners currently participate in Unified® programs in Texas. It takes partnerships with schools, civic associations, Parks and Recreation departments, and other community sports organizations.
The Special Olympics athletes participating in the unified game will be honored during a special halftime presentation. Game jerseys that the Texas Legends players will wear will be custom Special Olympics jerseys featuring Toyota and Legends branding. Legends President and General Manager Malcolm Farmer shared,
Our team is proud to join Toyota in their support of Special Olympics. We always look forward to opportunities to showcase the work of our partners in the community, and the efforts of Toyota and its employees deserve to be celebrated along with the athletes who work hard day in and day out to develop their talents.
Toyota Walking the Walk
Toyota became a global partner of Special Olympics in 2017 to build on a long history of support at the state and national level. Toyota’s move to the North Texas area means now the partnership impacts our local community here in Frisco.
Sure, it ties in so well with Frisco’s strong sports profile, but it doesn’t happen automatically. It takes teams like the Legends stepping up and stepping in to make it all come together on the court for the whole community to gather, learn how to get involved and be inspired. Pete Carey, Toyota group vice president and Special Olympics Texas board member shared,
Through sports, health, school and youth engagement, the Special Olympics movement dramatically transforms lives, promotes unity and helps build a more inclusive society. Through this game, our aim is to build awareness for Special Olympics, provide opportunities to get involved, and honor the Special Olympic athletes who inspire us all.
Just this month alone you’ll see cycling, equestrian, soccer, gymnastics, tennis, table tennis, track and field, volleyball, golf, rollerskating, aquatics, softball, and, of course, basketball on their calendar of training and competitive activities.
Maybe you have a skill in one of these areas where you can lend a helping hand, get involved and experience some first-hand inspiration from these young adults making waves an accomplishing their dreams.
The first step – head to the arena early on March 15, 2019 to support the Texas Legends, Toyota and Special Olympics Texas to catch the unified game followed by the Legends versus the Agua Caliente Clippers. For tickets or information call 214-469-0822 or visit www.TexLegends.com.