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Health Education Program leaves lasting impact on SOVT Athletes

Over the past 8 weeks, Special Olympics Vermont athletes and their guardians or caregivers gathered in person and virtually for the Family Health Education Pilot Program run in collaboration by the University of Houston and Special Olympics


Focusing on nutrition and physical activity, the program was designed to foster changes among Special Olympics families. Vermont was the second participating program, following Special Olympics Colorado. 


The sessions included lessons and open discussions on topics such as:

  • Portions and moderation

  • Green foods, yellow foods, and red foods

  • Tips and tricks for creating healthy habits 

  • Body-mind connection (listening to the body) 

  • Maintaining strength in numbers (creating a support system or “helpers”)

      And much more! 

 

This program has created profound and lasting transformations in the lives of athletes. By focusing on active engagement with the topics at hand, this initiative fostered a deeper understanding and appreciation for health and wellness within the athlete community and their families. 



Through meaningful discussions and practical activities, participants not only retained crucial knowledge, but developed a lasting foundation of practical skills and habits.


The final sessions in Chittenden County on Sunday, May 5th and Addison County  on Monday, May 6, culminated in a snack challenge which was a joyful representation of the impact this program has had on athletes, families, and program facilitators. Athletes enthusiastically  shared their newfound knowledge while enjoying healthy snacks. They cheered on each other's successes and were excited to support each other in making healthy choices! 


We connected with some of the participants to ask them what they learned and what they are looking forward to continuing upon the conclusion of the program! Take a look! 


“I learned about portion sizes and how I can use my hand to measure my portions. I am going to work on having less screen time while I’m eating dinner.”

-Barbie, Addison county athlete


Barbie told us how she is also working on utilizing social media to share healthy recipes with friend and fellow athlete, Sam, as a way to help her be successful too! 



“I learned a new routine for getting better sleep!” - Mary, Addison county athlete


“I learned about how I can use my air-fryer to make the things I want, without all the oil”

- Sean, Health Messenger and Addison county athlete


We are excited to see how these athletes continue their health education and maintain their newfound practices!


We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with the incredible team at University of Houston. Together we are working to improve the overall quality of life for individuals with intellectual disabilities through education and empowerment! 


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