When asked why she chose to represent Special Olympics Massachusetts in the 2016 Falmouth Road Race, Nicole Nunes simply answered, “It is a foundation near and dear to my heart”.
Nicole first became involved with Special Olympics when she was an undergrad at the University of Rhode Island. She worked with Special Olympics Rhode Island assisting with Swimming and Unified Basketball. While studying, she took adapted physical education courses that introduced her to a range of extra-curricular activities and volunteer opportunities. She also taught at a school nearby where she would bring the kids to a bowling alley.
Today, Nicole is an adapted physical education teacher in the Norton Public Schools system. Nicole was instrumental in starting the adapted physical education program in Norton. For the past 8 years, she has taken students to the Attleboro School Day Games and recently had two students participate at Special Olympics Massachusetts Summer Games in Track and Field.
“The kids who are athletes definitely wholeheartedly appreciate the effort put into it (Special Olympics) and have a blast”, said Nicole as she reflected on her personal experiences.
Nicole claims that she is not a runner but she is physically active. She has also participated in two half marathons. After having her two daughters, ages four and two, Nicole’s running came to a halt making the Falmouth Road Race the perfect opportunity to hop back into running.
This race will also be Nicole’s first time running for a cause and her first time running the Falmouth Road Race. Nicole has a fundraising goal of $1,500. She plans on achieving this goal through donations from family, friends, students, and by writing letters to local businesses.
Nicole would love to look into the possibilities of running for Special Olympics Massachusetts in the future. Helping students and athletes with disabilities is one of her goals and she hopes to volunteer more in the upcoming years.
“I know a lot of kids involved with Special Olympics Massachusetts and I would do anything I can to give back to them.”
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