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The mission of Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of well-coached Olympic-type sports for individuals with mental retardation, or closely-related developmental disabilities, by providing them with continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, prepare for entry into school and community programs, express courage, experience joy, and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics Athletes, and the community.
Special Olympics contributes to the physical, social, and psychological development of people with mental challenges. Through successful experiences in sports, our athletes gain confidence and build positive self-images, which go with them into their homes, classrooms, jobs, and communities. SOMA Volunteers benefit by discovering the capabilities of the athletes and feeling their joy. Volunteers are also provided the opportunity to express courage, experience joy, and share their gifts, skill and friendship. Special Olympics Massachusetts was chartered by the Governor in 1971 to meet the needs of citizens with mental retardation throughout the state of Massachusetts. This statewide program supports an estimated 9,500 athletes who are assisted by approximately 1000 coaches, and more than 12,000 volunteers.
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