Athletes

Athletes

There are 3 steps to joining the Rochester Flyers

1.  Complete the Contact Information Form

Contact Information Form

We will contact you once your form has been received.  We’ll also add you to our mailing list so you’ll get all the email and registration notices we send out.

2.  Join Special Olympics Minnesota

Visit this link specialolympicsminnesota.org/who-we-are/athletes and follow the instructions under becoming an athlete.  Athletes will need to complete the entire athlete application and submit it directly to the State Office as outlined on the form.

3.  Review the Rochester Flyers membership guidelines

Attendance:  Because of the short practice season, the Rochester Flyers ask each athlete to commit to attending all practices.  One excused absence per season is allowed.  If there are more than two absences and/or any unexcused absences (“no-show”), the head coach can choose to not allow the athlete to participate in Area and/or State competitions.

Calendar:   The web calendar is kept up-to-date with all the Rochester Flyers events.  Please check this calendar frequently.  Last minute cancellations (due to weather, illness, etc.) will be posted on the Facebook page, and sent out via email to the Head Coaches.  We will do our best to update the calendar on short notice as well.

Code of Conduct:  All Rochester Flyers agree to abide by the SOMN Code of Conduct for Athletes (http://specialolympicsminnesota.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/athlete_codeofconduct.pdf).  Failure to comply with this code of conduct can limit the athlete’s ability to participate as Rochester Flyer.

Communication: Information is distributed by website, through Facebook postings, and by email (specialolympicsrochester@gmail.com).  There are no US mail notifications.  Subscribe to Rochester Flyers updates in the Sign Up for Our Newsletter box on the right side of our website.

AthletesCompetition: Athletes ages 8 and older may participate in competitions.  All athletes are eligible to participate in competition regardless of their ability.  Athletes who wish to participate in the State competition must compete in that same event in the Area competition.  There are no exceptions to this SOMN rule.

Fees: Each athlete is asked to pay a $20 participation fee for each sport in which they choose to participate.  This money helps offset the cost of uniforms, practice space rental costs, equipment, transportation, and State Competition fees.  For those experiencing financial hardship, the Rolf Axelson Memorial Scholarship has been established.  Please email specialolympicsrochester@gmail.com to apply for this scholarship.

Participation:  Any athlete ages 8 and older with an intellectual disability or closely related developmental disability is eligible to join the Rochester Flyers.  We offer year round opportunities to participate in a variety of sports.  We encourage athletes to participate in as many sports as they wish.  However, in some instances, State competitions for multiple sports are held on the same weekends, and this may cause some scheduling conflicts.  If an athlete chooses to participate in more than one sport in the same season, and one of the sports is a “team” sport, the athlete must commit to going to competition in the team sport.  Team sports such as basketball, swimming (relay), poly hockey, flag football, and athletics (relay) require a commitment to attend both Area and State games.

Practices:  Most seasons run 8-10 weeks with practice once a week for 1-1.5 hours.  Practices are held at a variety of locations in Rochester, MN.   The practices are led by the Head Coach for the sport, and supported by assistant coaches/volunteers at approximately a 1:4 ratio (coaches: athletes).  Since our practices are limited, it is very important that all athletes make every effort to attend all practices.

Registration/Sport Sign Up:  Rochester Flyer athletes will register for sports using our online system, or by emailing specialolympicsrochester@gmail.com.  Enrollment will be on a first-come first-served basis until the team is full.  For existing team sports, preference will be given to existing team members, and new athletes will be placed on a waiting list until openings are identified by the head coach.

Supervision:  While coaches are there to ensure the safety and comfort of athletes participating in Rochester Flyer events, they cannot assume direct responsibility for the athletes’ medical or behavioral concerns.  Athletes requiring 1:1 assistance or supervision must bring their own support person.

Transportation:  Because of insurance liability, coaches and volunteers cannot transport athletes.  Athletes must provide their own source of transportation to/from all practices.  For all Area and State events not held in Rochester, transportation, in the form of a school bus will be provided from a central location within Rochester city limits.

Uniforms:  Each Rochester Flyers athlete will be given a free royal blue Rochester Flyers cotton short sleeve t-shirt.  This is an athlete only shirt.  Special competition shirts may be loaned to the athlete during the sport season, but must be returned to the head coach after State Games.

Weather:  Rochester Flyers is concerned with athlete safety.  For winter sports, if the Rochester School system is closed, practice will be cancelled.  If road conditions deteriorate after school as closed, practice will be cancelled.  If you are unsure, talk to your head coach.  For summer & outdoor sports:  if it is raining heavily and/or thunder and lightning then practice will be cancelled.  If the heat index is forecast to be greater than 95F and/or the temperature reading is greater than 90F at the time of practice, the practice will be OPTIONAL (no penalty for not attending), or cancelled, at the discretion of the head coach.

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