PHILADELPHIA, October 12, 2021 – Nerd Street Gamers, the national esports infrastructure company, announced today its partnership with Special Olympics Colorado and Special Olympics Texas to provide access to esports among its athletes and support the development of a heightened competitive experience. The multi-phased engagement will focus on accessibility and opportunity within each regional community by providing participants with the tools and resources, including coaching programming and tournaments, to maximize the esports curriculum.
To kick off the partnership, Nerd Street Gamers held digital coaching programs in August to equip and prepare staff for curriculum implementation and instruction. Throughout the program, Nerd Street provided coaches with tools on how to effectively communicate, motivate, and connect with their players. In addition, coaches received recommended activities and best practices to utilize in future sessions with participating players.
“At Nerd Street we want to help nurture the future of esports as a welcoming environment for all, and our partnership with Special Olympics Colorado and Special Olympics Texas is a testament to this commitment,” said John Fazio, CEO of Nerd Street Gamers. “We’re thrilled to partner with such an inclusive, community-driven organization and help them create accessible avenues for their athletes to engage in esports. Over the years, we have seen the positive impact esports can have on individuals with disabilities and hope to both provide a positive, fun experience for participants while demonstrating the opportunities that lie within the industry for long-term success.”
Through its online coaching program, Nerd Street was able to provide video on demand (VOD) as an ongoing resource for coaches to help their players learn. The visual resource will provide an alternative, effective educational tool as many video games require a more advanced strategy that is best illustrated through visuals compared to voice-over.
“We recently held a really exciting, new opportunity for our coaches here at Special Olympics Colorado, thanks to our friends at Nerd Street Gamers,” said Adrian Mora, Senior Director of Regional Services and Denver Region, Special Olympics Colorado. “Special Olympics Colorado is braving a new frontier in implementing esports as an inclusive activity for both individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to compete and engage in as society continues to evolve to more virtual connections. Nerd Street staff offered a robust and comprehensive esports training to six of our coaches who will be implementing inclusive gaming in our Unified Champion Schools throughout the state. This training provided a strong foundation for our coaches to educate, groom, and support our unified teams as they take their first steps in inclusive esports programs.”
Nerd Street will also provide a safe, ADA-compliant space within its Localhost facilities for Special Olympics Colorado and Texas to conduct its esports training and run league practices for two unified teams. Special Olympics athletes participating in the program will focus on persistence, overcoming challenges, and teamwork through esports.
“Sitting through the Nerd Street Gaming coaches webinar and training allowed me to see how easy it is to start getting athletes and volunteers excited for esports,” said Chris Darnell, Coach for Special Olympics Texas. “I'm going to use this training to help get other volunteers interested in esports and help build esports teams in our less populated areas around Texas. This program has the ability to spread rapidly in Texas and I can't wait to see it happen. The more I talk to athletes and coaches from around the state, the more they seem excited to start.”
Esports provides a unique opportunity for individuals with disabilities to be part of a thriving community and engage in social, educational, and career opportunities. Through this partnership, Nerd Street and Special Olympics Colorado and Special Olympics Texas will eliminate the barrier of entry to esports among this community and help showcase the varying degree of opportunities within the industry.
“The training that I received from Nerd Street was extremely helpful in many ways. It taught me different strategies and techniques on how to coach athletes when it comes to esports,” said Dillon Cobb, Coach for Special Olympics Texas. “I will be able to take what I learned from the program and train other coaches around our region. I hope to grow the most successful esports program across the state of Texas.”
About Nerd Street Gamers
Nerd Street Gamers (Nerd Street) is a national network of esports facilities and events dedicated to powering competitive opportunities for gamers. The company promotes greater access to the esports industry, laying a national framework for esports talent development and high-quality gaming tournaments. Through Localhost, its gaming and esports centers across the country, the company provides opportunities for gamers of all ages and skill levels to participate in esports tournaments, camps, team training, private events like birthday parties, and hourly play for a wide variety of video games. Nerd Street has received backing from Five Below, Comcast Spectacor, SeventySix Capital, Elevate Ventures, angel investor George Miller, and Founders Fund.
For more information, follow @nerdstreet and nerdstreet.com.
About Special Olympics:
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Special Olympics Colorado provides year-round sports training and competition for nearly 18,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and unified partners. Through the support of an amazing community of coaches, volunteers, donors, sponsors and partners, Special Olympics Colorado is able to offer hundreds of annual engagements, free of charge, to individuals age 2 and up.
Special Olympics Texas is a year-round movement, holding more than 300 competitions annually on area, regional and state levels. Event divisions are based on age, gender and ability level to give athletes an equal chance to win. Each participant receives a medal or ribbon following their events.
Brownstein on behalf of Nerd Street Gamers