Meet a True Champion
Ben Gran knows that it takes motivation, discipline and a plan to be a successful athlete in training. Ben has enjoyed participating in Special Olympics so much that he decided to sign up as a Champion for Special Olympics to help raise funds for the cause.
Special Olympics athlete Ben Gran wants more people to have a chance to participate in Special Olympics sports. Support Ben’s efforts!
Stepping On the Field
Have you ever avoided participating in something because you were afraid to be left out or too nervous that you would not succeed? Special Olympics athlete Ben Gran knows that feeling all too well. It wasn’t until his occupational therapist suggested playing sports as a way to improve his motor planning skills a few years ago, that Ben found acceptance and inclusion at Special Olympics.
He tried out for soccer and enjoyed it. “I like Special Olympics because the athletes are very positive and supportive of each other, and they also know how to have fun.” He says that Special Olympics has really opened his mind to trying out new sports and plans to try softball this summer.
Ben explains that Special Olympics also helps him with the challenges of being on the autism spectrum, without focusing on his disability like some of the social skills groups. He can “practice and improve in many areas, while still having fun.”
Beyond building Ben’s confidence, Special Olympics may have actually saved Ben’s life. When Ben had to get a sports physical to play soccer, a doctor discovered a tumor in his kidney. His tumor was 410mm in size. Ben had surgery to successfully remove the tumor and his doctor says there is no cancer in his body now. But it meant he had to sit out from sports.
Champion for Special Olympics
Not one to be idle, Ben challenged himself to raise $410 for Special Olympics – a goal tied to the size of his tumor, plus some extra to beat that goal. He set up his Champion page and asked friends and family to contribute to the efforts.
Ben tirelessly sent out emails and asked Facebook friends to support him. He admits that the hardest part of fundraising was figuring out what to say in emails to people he hadn’t talked to recently. But he persisted and exceeded his fundraising goal!
Not one to rest on his laurels, Ben is already sketching out plans for another Champion fundraiser and also looks forward to continuing advocating for people with intellectual and other disabilities. He is excited about competing in softball for the very first time this summer.
Be a Champion
Champions for Special Olympics is a grassroots effort that relies on your reaching out to your personal network of friends, family, and community members to help raise much-needed funds. You will make an enormous difference – giving more people with intellectual disabilities a chance to participate in Special Olympics sports. Sign up to be a Champion or support Ben's efforts.
He's a speaker and role model. It didn't start that way in Namibia.Learn More ››
Power of Sports
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About Special Olympics in North America
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