Press Release: Austin Bold FC and DSACT Team Up to Start Soccer Camp for Individuals with Down Syndrome

Press Release: Austin Bold FC and DSACT Team Up to Start Soccer Camp for Individuals with Down Syndrome

Bold Will Also Host Down Syndrome Awareness Night at June 15 Match

Austin, TX (May 23, 2019) - The Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas, providing an array of programs for individuals with Down syndrome and their families throughout Central Texas, is teaming with Austin Bold FC and Bold player Sonny Guadarrama’s Sunshine Soccer of Central Texas for its first-ever soccer camp, to run this coming June 10-12 at Circuit of The Americas.

The partnership between the Bold and DSACT will also include the Bold hosting Down Syndrome Awareness Night for its June 15 match against the Tacoma Defiance at Bold Stadium (9201 Circuit of The Americas Boulevard). DSACT soccer campers, members, and guests will attend the match to help celebrate both the Bold’s inaugural season in the United Soccer League Championship and DSACT’s ongoing work with the Central Texas Down syndrome community throughout its 10-county region.

The camp, for 40 individuals with Down syndrome and siblings ages six and up, is the latest addition to the slate of recreational programming offered by DSACT. It sold out the first day it was offered to members, reflecting Central Texas’s enthusiasm for the beautiful game.

“We’re happy to be offering this camp to our members,” said DSACT executive director Jennifer Edwards. ”We’re especially grateful to Austin Bold FC for its enthusiastic support in partnering with us and hosting us, and for Sonny Guadarrama and Sunshine Soccer of Central Texas for their involvement. Our recreational programming strives to be physically and socially nurturing for all its participants, and we believe this camp will do that this year and in the years to come.”

Edwards also noted, regarding the camp’s inclusivity, “It’s rare to have an adaptive camp that’s also welcoming to siblings, and we’re appreciative of Sunshine Soccer fulfilling our vision for what this camp will be for the families involved.”

“From its inception, Austin Bold FC was built as an inclusive club for every Austinite” commented Austin Bold FC General Manager Roberto Silva. “We want Bold Stadium to be a safe environment for everyone to enjoy themselves and cheer on the Bold without fear of discrimination of any kind. Partnering with Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas continues that mission statement. We’re excited to host DSACT members at Circuit of The Americas for the soccer camps and match.”

Sunshine Soccer of Central Texas, founded in September 2016, specializes in adaptive soccer for children with special needs. According to its Facebook page, the organization seeks to give back to the community “by helping kids with special needs have a chance to learn the game of soccer.” It further explains, “Adaptive soccer will provide an opportunity for youth to move and explore their environment in a safe way, be active using their unique abilities, provide opportunities to youth to interact with peers in a team sport, and allow parents to network within the community.”

The organization was co-founded by Guadarrama, who has returned to his native Austin, after more than a decade playing professionally in Mexico, to be integral to the Bold’s 2019 campaign.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

●      Phil West, Orange Cone Agency (for DSACT)
(512) 769.3838, phil.west@orangeconeagency.com

●      Stephanie Brown, Giant Noise (for Austin Bold FC)
(858) 213-3894, Stephanie.Brown@giantnoise.com

●      Katy Fordyce, Giant Noise (for Austin Bold FC)
(512) 653-4178, Katy@giantnoise.com

●      Courtney Knittel, Giant Noise (for Austin Bold FC)
(512) 997-8279, Courtney@giantnoise.com

About DSACT
The Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas, founded in 1991, provides education, support, and resources to individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and affiliated professionals and community members throughout Central Texas, while building public awareness and acceptance of the abilities of individuals with Down syndrome. DSACT envisions a world in which all people, including those with Down syndrome, are accepted, valued for their uniqueness, respected for their abilities and contributions, and assured the opportunity and choice to create their own path to fulfillment and success.

 About Austin Bold FC
Founded in 2018, Austin Bold FC is an American professional soccer team based in the capital of Texas. Austin Bold FC will compete in the United Soccer League (USL), a Division II sanctioned league in the U.S. Soccer Federation hierarchy comprised 36 teams in the United States and Canada. Within the USL, Austin Bold FC will compete in the USL Championship, the top division in the league. Led by Head Coach Marcelo Serrano, the club’s inaugural season will kick off in March 2019. Austin Bold FC is devoted to growing soccer in Central Texas and forming bonds with youth leagues and soccer supporters throughout the region. Austin Bold FC will play an exciting, up-tempo style of soccer, delivering a matchday atmosphere as dynamic as the city of Austin itself.

About Circuit of The Americas
Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, is the only purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for all classes of racing. The 3.4-mile racetrack hosts the world’s most prestigious sporting events, including Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, INDYCAR Classic, as well as world-renowned concerts, music festivals, and opportunities for track rentals. The 1,500-acre campus is also home to the award-winning Austin360 Amphitheater, driving experiences including COTA Karting, open-wheel Formula America and the Audi Driving Experience, expansive meeting and hospitality spaces and an iconic 25-story observation tower that offers 360-degree views of the circuit, amphitheater and downtown Austin.

For more information and to download videos and photos, visit www.thecircuit.com. For an experience as unique as Austin and a rush you’ll never forget, visit Circuit of The Americas, where exhilaration happens.

 

DSACT's 2018 Impact Report

DSACT's 2018 Impact Report

2018 was an incredible year at DSACT! We are happy to share our 2018 Impact Report here - showcasing the many events, programs, education series, outreach opportunities, and community partnerships we brought to DSACT members. Please take a look, and thank you to all who made 2018 such a great year. We know 2019 will be even better!

3/21 in Austin - Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas Day

3/21 in Austin - Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas Day

Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas Executive Director Jennifer A. Edwards wrote the following op-ed to local media regarding the importance of community-wide recognition of World Down Syndrome Day and Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s proclamation of 3/21/2019 as “Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas Day.”

LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND ON 3/21 – World Down Syndrome Day
By Jennifer A. Edwards, Executive Director
Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), a global awareness day officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. The UN acknowledges, “All people with Down syndrome must have opportunities to live fulfilling lives, included on a full and equal basis with others, in all aspects of society,” and envisions a future in which “no one will be left behind.”

This year, the City of Austin has declared March 21 as Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas Day.

Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21, occurs when a person is born with three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two. Hence, 3/21 is “our” day.

In the United States, nearly one in 700 babies is born with Down syndrome. Most function in the mild to moderate range of cognitive impairment, with common physical traits including small stature, low muscle tone, and an upward slant to the eyes.

Though they’re at increased risk for congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions, most people with Down syndrome live healthy lives. The average lifespan of a person with Down syndrome has increased to 60 years, compared to just 25 years in 1983. 

Yet many misconceptions surrounding Down syndrome still exist. It is a genetic condition, not a disease. People do not “suffer from it” nor are they “victims.” It has nothing to do with race, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion, or anything the mother or father did during pregnancy.

Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas (DSACT) wants to fully dispel the myths about Down syndrome. Established in 1991, DSACT is the only organization in Austin and its surrounding counties providing programs and services for individuals with Down syndrome, their families, educators and the medical community. By providing new parent support, educational outreach, and medical outreach, as well as investment in scientific research, DSACT seeks to bring Austinites a greater understanding of what Down syndrome is and isn’t. 

We also honor educators, like Lindsay Davis of Barton Creek Elementary School in Eanes ISD and Dana Barton, Randi Reyes, Krissy Anderson, and Janet Mormon of Frost Elementary School in Georgetown ISD, whose dedication to students with Down syndrome inspires us.

DSACT envisions a world in which all members, including those with Down syndrome, are accepted, valued for their uniqueness, respected for their abilities and contributions, and assured the opportunity and choice to create their own path to fulfillment and success. And while we want to leave no one behind, we’re concerned that there are people in our community with Down syndrome who need help and aren’t getting it.

Surprisingly, the population of people in the U.S. with Down syndrome is currently unknown. However, one third of Americans know someone with Down syndrome. If you know someone with Down syndrome, please encourage them or their family to contact DSACT.  We’d love to welcome them into our community and offer our support and resources. 

On this World Down Syndrome Day, let us commit to welcoming people with Down syndrome into every area of our community. DSACT, in partnership with Down syndrome communities from across Texas, will gather at the State Capitol as both the House and Senate recognize the significance of WDSD. Here at home in Central Texas, help us in our DSACT mission to embrace and support every person with Down syndrome. Let us all fulfill the United Nations pledge to “leave no one behind.”

Learn more at www.dsact.org or contact Jennifer Edwards at Jennifer.edwards@dsact.org.

World Down Syndrome Day at the Texas Capitol

World Down Syndrome Day at the Texas Capitol

Members of the Down syndrome community from across Texas will gather at the Texas Capitol on Thursday, March 21, 2019, for World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). WDSD is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012, observed annually on March 21 (3/21) in recognition of the triplication of chromosome 21, which characterizes Down syndrome.

This year, families, advocates, educators, and others will spend the day meeting with their local state representatives to discuss issues and legislation of interest, accepting a proclamation from the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate, acknowledging March 21 as Down Syndrome Awareness Day, and joining Texas Advocates’ rally on the Capitol steps at 11am.

Press Release: DSACT Hires New Executive Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2019

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phil West, Orange Cone Agency
512.769.3838, phil.west@orangeconeagency.com

JENNIFER EDWARDS NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF DOWN SYNDROME ASSOCIATION OF CENTRAL TEXAS

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas, providing an array of programs for individuals with Down syndrome and their families throughout Central Texas, is proud to announce it has named Jennifer Edwards its new Executive Director.

Edwards, most recently Chief Executive Officer with Literacy Texas, will lead the non-profit organization serving the Down syndrome community in a ten-county area including Austin and surrounding cities. Edwards will be taking over for Cameron LaHaise, who served as DSACT Executive Director for 5 ½ years, and recently relocated to the Boston metro area to take an executive position with the Harvard Business School.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to lead this vital non-profit organization,” said Edwards. “DSACT has been instrumental in welcoming parents of children with Down syndrome into an engaged and supportive community, and provides resources, programs, and support that enriches people with Down syndrome and their families at all phases of their lives. Through the annual Buddy Walk and Cocktail Bash events, DSACT also connects this vibrant community to people throughout Central Texas.”

DSACT is currently gearing up for its 2019 edition of its annual Cocktail Bash on Wednesday, April 3, at the 800 Congress event venue in downtown Austin. Last year’s event generated funds to support DSACT’s diverse programming, including its popular summer Bike Camp.

 

ABOUT DSACT

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas, founded in 1991, provides education, support, and resources to individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and affiliated professionals and community members throughout Central Texas, while building public awareness and acceptance of the abilities of individuals with Down syndrome. DSACT envisions a world in which all people, including those with Down syndrome, are accepted, valued for their uniqueness, respected for their abilities and contributions, and assured the opportunity and choice to create their own path to fulfillment and success.