Dr. Frank Hayden was a researcher at the University of Western Ontario when he first came up with the idea to develop a sports program for people with intellectual disabilities. Through his powerful mission, Dr. Hayden caught the attention of Eunice Shriver, John F. Kennedy’s sister, who asked him to come to the United States. With the support from the Kennedy’s and his community, Special Olympics was born.
Integricon was introduced to Special Olympics through Stella and Darryl D’Silva. Stella is the Concierge Liaison Manager at Integricon and Darryl is the Chief Development Officer. This is what Special Olympics means to both Darryl and Stella: “Having a child with an intellectual disability I feel blessed to have Special Olympics. When our son, Alexander, was born we decided there was nothing he could not do and that we would make sure he understood that he could do anything he put his mind to. Alexander loved sports but he also loved winning so when he first told me that he no longer wanted to play sports at school because he couldn’t play like the other kids, it broke my heart. That is when I looked into what was available for him and that’s when I found Special Olympics. It changed Alexander’s world and ours too! Currently Alexander plays soccer, baseball and basketball. I am lucky enough to be the manager of his basketball team. We have over 60 athletes and 20 coaches. We are a family and trust me when I say, these athletes teach us so much more than we teach them. It really builds up a community and teaches patience, teamwork compassion, leadership and so much more. Every volunteer that has worked with us always mentions how much it has enriched their life.
When Integricon was looking for an organization to support, Special Olympics was a natural fit. The Special Olympics organization and team embody our core values of Reliability, Integrity and Care. Over the last 5 years, Integricon has worked closely with Special Olympics and together we have raised over $100,000 through our annual Bowlathon Event.
To learn more about Special Olympics, please visit their website www1.specialolympicsontario.com