Historic pairing a unique partnership


Kyle Lewis / DR illustration / Scott Richardson and submitted photos

Jon Froman is not competitive by nature, but loves spending time with his peers. Jon, who has Down syndrome, has participated in Special Olympics’ basketball and swimming. In swimming, Jon is coached by his mother, Debbie, who finds her position quite rewarding.

“Spending time with the athletes puts a lot of things in perspective. It reminds you of what is really important in life,” said Debbie, also the coach of the Eastern Hancock swimming and diving team. “Special Olympic athletes love to win, but most of all they love the validation that comes with being part of the team.”

The Fromans are now a part of a much larger team.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association and Special Olympics Indiana recently announced a partnership — the brainchild of the 2012-13 IHSAA Student Advisory Committee — to connect the 11,000 Special Olympics’ participants across the Hoosier State with the approximately 160,000 students involved in IHSAA athletics.

IHSAA Educational Consultant Lee Lonzo is hoping his organization’s association with Special Olympics Indiana will instill a philosophy of “servant leadership” in Indiana’s student-athletes involved in education-based athletics, and believes the impact for the members of both parties will be “profound.”

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