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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 Olympic 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. The members of a family encourage, understand, and love one another, much like our organization. Volunteering time to Special Olympics is more than being a hard worker; it is being a brother or a sister. Treating the participants as family allows them to gain confidence not only from competition, but also from meeting new friends.
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