Athlete Leadership empowers athletes to develop leadership skills and utilize their voices and abilities to undertake meaningful leadership roles, influence change in the Special Olympics movement and create inclusive communities around the world. As athletes gain the confidence that comes with achievement, they feel empowered and ready to take on new challenges to make use of all their abilities.
Special Olympics is pushing for a more increase in athlete leadership from the state down to the local level for all organizations. As our programs grow and expand, having an athlete leader will help give the athlete’s a voice as they will advocate for the program.
After various deliberation and monitoring, we are excited to announce the first athlete leader for Fulton County Special Olympics will be Jason Pfund. Jason’s first task as an athlete leader will be going to present to the Wauseon Rotary in August.
Jason Pfund, 37, is the son of Nancy and Gary Haupricht. He went to Wauseon Schools. Jason has participated in Special Olympics since 1997, 21 years.
I first knew Jason would be a good fit for athlete leader after the TP Bike A Thon this spring. He ran our Special Olympics table and did an outstanding job. He talked with everyone that came up, explained our game to them, told them who we are, and even spilled some of his favorite things about Special Olympics!
Jason’s favorite sport is bowling and basketball. He enjoys playing sports with his friends. “Special Olympics helps me with my sportsmanship, getting along, and having a positive attitude. My favorite thing is winning gold as a team.” When asked about things he would like to see happen to our local program, he says sports like flag football and equestrian to be added. In addition, a ‘prom’ style dance, and forming his own athlete leader committee were at the top of his list.
Jason will hopefully be attending a leadership conference in the fall in Columbus to learn more about leadership, and meet other athlete leaders from throughout the state of Ohio. We’re excited for this next step in making the program what the athletes want!