Long Beach City College and Special Olympics Southern California Make a Big Splash with New Partnership
Special Olympics will now practice swimming, basketball, bocce ball, and track & field at LBCC

Special Olympics Southern California Athletes, Kelly Pond SOSC President and CEO,  Dr. Mike Muñoz  LBCCD Superintendent-President, Herlinda Chico President Trustee, Paul Kaminski LBCC Foundation CEO

The Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) and Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) leadership and athletes gathered at the College’s new Kinesiology Labs and Aquatic Center (KLAC) on Thursday, March 23 to announce a new partnership that will allow more than 80 SOSC athletes to practice at Long Beach City College’s (LBCC) Liberal Arts Campus.

Long Beach City College is elated to welcome Special Olympics Southern California and is committed to providing equitable student learning and community benefits by supporting programs and support services to our diverse communities. In February of 2023, LBCC Athletics partnered with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) by providing access to their athletic facilities including the new LBCC Aquatic Center as the new home to their aquatics program as well as the premier site for SOSC’s sports this Spring.

This new partnership was highlighted and kickstarted by Ivan Parrott, the SOSC athlete with a passion to make this happen. His connection with LBCC Foundation staff member Gina Mascaro, and her support of finding a facility for SOSC athletes to train, led to this new partnership.

“Our new relationship started out as a conversation between an incredible athlete with a passion for swimming who wanted a place to train and a family friend who represented the LBCC Foundation who saw that the two organizations’ missions aligned. And now our athletes are so excited to train in such impressive facilities,” said SOSC President and CEO Kelly Pond.

“Our campuses, both here at the Liberal Arts Campus and at our Pacific Coast Campus are truly for everyone to enjoy – both inside and outside our classrooms, regardless of age or fitness level,” said LBCCD Superintendent-President Dr. Mike Muñoz. “We are proud to welcome Special Olympics Southern California and provide practice facilities for their outstanding athletes”

“Partnering with organizations that serve our community is essential in building goodwill that is inclusive, supportive, innovative, and collaborative,” said Paul Kaminski, LBCC Foundation CEO. “We are proud to have this synergy with the Special Olympics.”

Long Beach City College Athletics is proud of its history of excellence. Collectively, the Vikings hold 16 National Championships, a state-record 93 California Community College State Championships, hundreds of conference titles, and over 20 Football Bowl Game appearances. As a significant milestone of the LBCC Facilities Master Plan, the Outdoor Kinesiology Labs encompassed the construction of Building W – Aquatic Center. The new Aquatic Center project includes the construction of a new 65-meter x 25 yd. pool and adjacent training facilities, locker rooms, and team rooms. The new Aquatic Center project provides a modern, state-of-the-art complex to meet the needs of the instructional Kinesiology program as well as intercollegiate athletics, but equally as important the needs of our community. Visit lbccvikings.com to learn more about Viking Athletics.

Long Beach City College consists of two campuses with an enrollment of over 25,000 students each semester. The education program’s primary purpose is to prepare students for transfer to baccalaureate-granting institutions, entry into work or career development, and to support businesses in economic development. Long Beach City College serves the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill, and Avalon.  Long Beach City College promotes equitable student learning and achievement, academic excellence, and workforce development by delivering high-quality educational programs and support services to our diverse communities.  Visit www.LBCC.edu for more information on Long Beach City College.

Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of thousands of athletes and their communities through sports, leadership programs, Unified Champion schools’ programs, and athlete health initiatives. Our free, year-round programs lead to improved health, self-confidence, and independence among athletes with intellectual disabilities and acceptance and inclusion in the community. Special Olympics Southern California has earned a four-star ranking from Charity Navigator for exceeding industry standards. This ranking is the highest Charity Navigator offers to an organization and is given because Special Olympics has demonstrated strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency. To learn more about the Special Olympics Southern California, visit sosc.org