Each year it is the pleasure of Special Olympics South Dakota to recognize our Outstanding Award Winners. These individuals and groups contribute their time, talents and resources in support of SOSD. They are the driving force behind our success.
Special Olympics athletes, coaches, families and volunteers are invited to submit nomination forms for consideration. The Athlete of the Year and the Coach of the Year will be presented their awards at the High School Coaches Association Awards Luncheon held in Aberdeen annually in July. All award winners will be recognized during the State Bowling Tournament banquet.
The Don Baker Award is the highest award received from Special Olympics South Dakota. It is given in honor of Don Baker who was a volunteer and official starter for Special Olympics events for many years. The award is given annually to an individual, organization, business, or agency that has given outstanding support to Special Olympics South Dakota.
The Athlete of the Year Award is presented to the Special Olympics athlete who has demonstrated the true spirit, courage, sharing and joy of Special Olympics. The Special Olympics athlete must have attended at least one competition during the year. Each nomination is reviewed for individual effort, enthusiasm, sportsmanship and achievement.
The Family of the Year Award is presented to a family which has demonstrated outstanding support and enthusiasm for Special Olympics.
The Outstanding Coach (Ron Stewart Award) is presented to a Special Olympics Coach who demonstrates the highest degree of technical skill and personal commitment needed to motivate and train Special Olympics athletes. Enthusiasm, attendance at competition, and effort put into coaching will be considered.
The Volunteer of the Year (Lyle Farrand Award) is presented to the person who exhibits the best example of voluntary action to improve the quality of Special Olympics at any level. The volunteer should have provided a full year of service. Members of local groups and the State Board of Directors may be nominated. Nominees will be reviewed for time of service, effort, and originality.
The Champion Award (DJ Mertens Award) is presented to any business, organization, or media outlet which has made a major contribution to Special Olympics South Dakota.