OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball recently welcomed Special Olympics Oklahoma (SOOK) athlete Logan Doughty (Edmond, Okla.) as a part-time member of the National Office Staff. Bringing a passion for sports, an enthusiastic attitude, and an exceptional work ethic to the organization, Doughty joins USA Softball as an all-hands-on-deck employee where he assists various departments with day-to-day operations while building connections with staff members, athletes, and fans of the softball community.
“We have taken great pride in working alongside Special Olympics North America as one of our Affiliated Members and are so proud to welcome one of their athletes to our National Office Staff,” said USA Softball Chief Sport Development/Performance Officer, Chris Sebren. “Logan’s positive attitude and willingness to help with any given task has been so enlightening to our organization, and we are proud to have him on board.”
The 29-year-old has been a SOOK athlete for 22 years with experience in track & field, swimming, basketball, bowling and bocce ball. Throughout his involvement with SOOK, Doughty has developed skills that have helped him excel not only in sports, but in everyday life.
“A lot of people think Special Olympics is one track meet or competition each year, but we are so much more than that,” said SOOK V.P. of Sports and Training, John Seals. “Special Olympics Oklahoma is an organization that provides year-round clinics and competitions for more than 12,000 athletes, and I believe those athletes not only gain confidence from participating, but also get to experience social inclusion through their participation. It’s truly a special thing to watch come to life.”
With a dedication to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Special Olympics also provides Unified Sports®, which joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team – an opportunity that Patrick Doughty, Logan’s father, says has allowed Logan to excel tremendously.
“Unified Sports® allows our athletes to gain experience with all different kinds of people, which has helped a lot of them – like Logan – to find a job because they’ve learned and found the confidence in their social skills through their participation in Special Olympics,” said Seals. “We say a lot of times that sports are the catalyst for what we really do – it changes lives."
After joining the USA Softball staff in February, Logan says he knew right off the bat that “this is the perfect fit for him” because of the challenges, opportunities and relationships he was being opened up to. “This is the job I’ve always wanted,” said Logan.
“Once we visited USA Softball, I knew this opportunity would be perfect for him,” said Patrick. “He comes home every day and tells me everything that he did and the fun times he has with different staff members. He’s truly grown so much just in the couple weeks that he’s been there.”
Since his start at the National Office, Logan has gained experience in organizing various items in the USA Softball Gift Shop, filing paperwork, interviewing fans and athletes at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex and assisting with stadium operations. “I’ve really enjoyed when I’ve gotten to interview people,” said Logan. “I just like talking to people and being around them. It’s been my favorite thing.”
Prior to joining USA Softball, Logan worked at Chick-Fil-A for five years while also volunteering at the Food Bank, Project 66 and Stone Creek Assisted Living.
“I think opportunities like this not only help those with disabilities, but also the organizations and individuals that are interacting with them,” said Logan’s mother, Kelli Cook. “It’s such a great step in the right direction in each vicinity and helps shatter the stereotype that people with disabilities can’t do certain things. It’s amazing that an organization like USA Softball has been willing to take the chance on Logan because it highlights what people with disabilities can do. It shows that there are ways to include them in the work environment.”
About Unified Leadership
Unified Leadership is a training co-led by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The concept was created to help teach the importance of listening to and learning from marginalized groups of people while working to build a more inclusive world one organization and partnership at a time. The training focuses on what people without IDD can do to address their biases and enable people with IDD to lead. For more information about Unified Leadership, visit https://resources.specialolympics.org/UL.
USA Softball committed to the Unified Leadership approach and hired Logan to bring a different perspective to the work of USA Softball.
About USA Softball
USA Softball (USAS) is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USAS sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations. USAS is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USAS annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USAS umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USAS is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USAS, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.