September 2022 Change Makers

Bella Larsen

Athlete of the Month

Bella got involved with Special Olympics Colorado at a very young age through Boulder EXPAND. Over the years, she’s competed in soccer, swimming, basketball, softball, flag football and athletics. Additionally, Bella is a fitness captain and an athlete leader.

Bella’s favorite part about being involved with Special Olympics Colorado is meeting new friends. “Special Olympics is my big family,” said Bella, who also enjoys competing and participating in the wellness challenges.

Overall, Bella feels very included when she competes with Special Olympics Colorado. “As someone with a disability, I couldn’t do what other people did so I felt left out. I didn’t have anywhere to go,” she explained. “Then I found the Special Olympics and it was a game changer for me.”

Recently, Bella completed a Peer to Peer All Abilities Yoga Teacher Training through Guided By Humanity. She graduated from the program in July and is now an intern at Guided By Humanity, where she assists in the All Abilities Yoga classes alongside another teacher. After her internship, she will be able to move into a Lead Teacher position and teach All Abilities Yoga in a supported work setting. Click here to learn more about Bella’s yoga training.

Congratulations on being recognized as the September Athlete of the Month, Bella!


The Sparks Family

Family of the Month

The Sparks family first got involved with Special Olympics Colorado in the Spring of 2021 when Ashley’s youngest son, Kayson, began playing on the Juniors soccer team, and her oldest son, Peyton, started playing with the Youth soccer team.

Ashley’s favorite memory is when Kayson and Petyonhad the opportunity to go the Colorado Rockies Fantasy Camp. “My boys loved getting to show off their skills and learn from professionals,” Ashley explained. “What a gift!”

The thing the Sparks love the most about Special Olympics is that its a family to them. “It is a safe place for everyone of every ability to come together and work together for a common goal,” said Ashley. “The families all work together and support each other and great friendships are formed that last a lifetime.”

Ashley said that in the year and a half they have been part of Special Olympics Colorado, they have become more and more involved each season and have met incredible people along the way. “The opportunity and relationships that Special Olympics has given us are irreplaceable,” she said. “My boys have found a great outlet for their energy and have developed many skills that have helped them in every aspect of life outside of sports. We are honored to be a part of the Colorado Special Olympics!!”

Congratulations, Sparks family, on being recognized as the September Family of the Month. We’re glad to have you part of our Special Olympics Colorado family!

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