The track and field season just wrapped up. Softball season continues through August. Bowling and flag football start in the fall for the Owatonna-area Special Olympics team.

In my role as a board member for the Owatonna-area Special Olympics team, I was a guest of Linda Karnauskas on the "Owatonna Today Show" recently. There really isn't an off-season for Special Olympics and I think the athletes like that. They enjoy the competition and social aspect of participating.

The state softball tournament is in August. Bowling and flag football begin in September. Poly hockey starts in October, although a group holds informal practices throughout the summer on Fridays at Morehouse Park. Basketball and swimming begin in January with track and field starting in April. An annual picnic is held in the fall in Owatonna and a Christmas party is hosted by the Northfield delegation each year.

The Owatonna delegation has more than 100 athletes from across Steele County and several from the Faribault area. Athletes can begin competing at 8 years old and there is no upper age limit. Practices are conducted locally with volunteer coaches. Area, regional and state competitions are open to registered athletes.

Thanks to great support from local businesses, athletes do not have to pay any fees to participate in Owatonna. Uniforms and equipment are provided. Other local expenses include facility rental and fees paid to Minnesota Special Olympics for state tournaments.

If you are interested in joining the management team board or would like to become a coach, contact Roy Koenig at (507) 451-2250. Training is provided. Find out more about Minnesota Special Olympics.