A Special Olympics Team Since 1991

South Region Stars

This is Andy.  Andy just opened a new training center in Mendota Heights designed specifically to prepare people with disabilities for “exceptional performance in competitions, team sports, and life, especially people with autism, down syndrome and cerebral palsy.”  It’s called Lions United Fitness Center.

It’s a dream come true for Andy, a  personal trainer and 15-year veteran Special Olympics coach himself.  Motivating Andy is what he considers the hallmark of Special Olympics athletes — their bravery. “It takes a lot of courage to face your disabilities head-on and choose the disciplined path of an athlete,” he says, adding that his gym compensates for the short athletic seasons with Special Olympics.  “Our gym allows these athletes to come in every day and work out. Repetition is key, getting them on a schedule and sticking to it.”

Don’t be fooled, though.  Andy understands that it’s also important to make sure this is a fun experience, something he learned from his father, Keane.  “What’s the Number One Rule?  Have Fun!  Did we forget to mention that Andrew’s last name is Cameron?  Keane was a long time coach with the Stars and mentor to many additional athletes–before heading to Hawaii.

Make no mistake, though.  The gym is Andy’s baby.  Whether you’re seeking personal training, bodybuilding, power lifting, training camps, sensory workshops, and nutrition coaching, these are just a few of Lions United services. Andy adds that he’ll offer everybody a free consultation, including assessing their strengths and goals, and conducting a full body evaluation to see what each athlete is capable of, and what restrictions might be.

Enter the gym and you’ll find state-of-the-art equipment laid out with large spaces between them to allow wheelchairs to move freely around. Every piece has been hand-picked to support those with with limited or full physical abilities.  Next up up will be a sensory room with crash pads, lamps and little sensory tools.

Best of all, it’s affordable and open to all.  For individuals with special needs it’s just $20 a month; for others just $40 a month (an amount that may be reduced by certain insurance programs).

Let’s make this work!  We’ll be working on some special plans for the Stars but in the meantime check it out and spread the word.  It’s located at 2535 Pilot Knob Road, Suite 126, and it’s staffed Monday-Thursday, 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, members will have 24-hour access.

Read more at the Star Tribune


Sports Information

Our Sports
Individual and Team Opportunities

Current Openings
Don’t forget, the state tournaments for bocce and softball have been moved to mid-September.

Participation Forms
Forms for athletes or volunteers.

What's Up

Registration for Swimming, Basketball and Track and Field are now online.

Gymnastics is also considered a summer sport; however this year’s meet will be held the weekend of June 14-15. Athletes who participate in gymnastics will be given the opportunity to compete in one sport the following weekend, assuming they have participated in the area competition for that sport.

Special Olympics of Minnesota Announces:

2019 Unified Soccer Opportunity

Here’s an exciting new way that athletes and Unified Partners can be involved with Special Olympics Minnesota! Apply to try out for our competitive Unified Soccer Team, in affiliation with Minnesota United FC. The season lasts from April through August 2019 and will include one out-of-state team trip.

The athlete application is due Monday, April 8, so act fast!

Learn More and Download Application Here

Questions? Contact Kelly Monicatti, Director of Program, at kelly.monicatti@somn.org.

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More Kudos!

Congrats to the Stars’ Flag Football Teams for an outstanding showing at the state tournament.  Our Gold team received bronze medals and our white team received silvers.  We’re so proud of you.

And to our athletes Sarah Haugen, Russell Greenhalge, and Charlie Rea, who represented Minnesota in swimming, bowling, and bocce, respectively at the USA games.

No Swim Practice Saturday, March 30

Area Swim Meet - April 7


Our annual team fundraiser has been set for Saturday, May 18 once again at the Outback Steakhouse in Inver Grove Heights.  As before, there will be two seatings — 10 am and 11 am (please note the earlier times).  Details and a printable registration form are available here.Details and a printable registration form are available here.

Meet the Stars

Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Our athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment — on the playing field and in life. We know no boundaries. Without regard to gender, race, religion, economic or education level, Special Olympics has the ability to unite all walks of life.


She did it!  Bocce athlete Maya Rivera will be coming back to the states from the World Games with medals, ribbons, and stories.  We’re so proud of you Maya.  You were brave, you had courage, and we’re so lucky to call you our Star.


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Great roll Maya! 👏👏👏 #MeetTheDetermined

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2018 Spirit Awards

John Sullivan Award:  to those whose actions demonstrate the true meaning of Good Sport.

2018:  Leon Johnson and Mariana Hughes

Kathy Wells Award: to those who exemplify the last line of the Olympic Oath : if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

2018:  Travis Vang and Andrea Howlett

Hank Halvorson Award: to families and individuals who exemplify the spirit of Hank by assisting with fundraising efforts extraordinaire.

2018: Barb and EJ Wang

Hank Goers Awardto families, parents, or staff who demonstrate extraordinary kindness by being there for any athlete or any effort requiring assistance.

2018: Deb Howlett