skip to main content

Who We Are


Sunday Strong’s mission is to increase physical activity in adults with intellectual disabilities by partnering with fitness providers to host weekly group exercise classes at no cost to our athletes.

Our History

Laura & Maria

In 2016, Sunday Strong founder Laura Radocaj accompanied her sister Maria to a Special Olympics golf tournament and was alarmed by the poor physical condition of many of the athletes. Throughout her life, she saw Maria struggle with her weight and it was evident that Maria’s quality of life, mental and physical states were better when she was exercising and making her health a priority. Although Maria has no control over her intellectual disability, she can control her own health and wellness. And so could every one of those athletes at that golf tournament. Laura was on a mission.

In January 2017, Laura started a weekly, free CrossFit class at her local gym, Vero Strength + Conditioning, for adults with intellectual disabilities. Her hope was that welcoming athletes into a community that encouraged a healthy lifestyle would help motivate them. The improvement in participants’ health was staggering. Athletes who couldn’t get off the ground by themselves and back up on their feet were quickly achieving burpees. Athletes who never ran before progressed to running 100-meter sprints. Athletes who walked into class on their first day with their heads down are now holding their heads high during class with big smiles on their faces. On the flip side, the class attracted volunteers who had never previously worked with the special needs community. Laura encouraged them to treat these adults as typical athletes—for that is indeed what they are. Hearts and arms were opened, and the result was a community in which everyone involved has been positively impacted.

The success of that one class inspired Laura to turn Sunday Strong into a 501c3 non-profit with a mission to increase physical activity in adults with intellectual disabilities. When looking for an appropriate name for the non-profit, she thought “Sunday Strong” was fitting as that was the mantra used each Sunday to encourage athletes. While the first Sunday Strong class was held on a Sunday, Laura is very proud that the organization works with fitness facilities to host group exercise classes every day of the week. Each fitness facility volunteers one hour a week to serve this population that so desperately needs their help, and it has been declared as “the most rewarding hour of the week” by many coaches and instructors!

Sunday Strong athletes now have the opportunity to participate in a variety of group exercise classes including functional fitness, dance, yoga, bootcamp, and more. Check out some our coaches, athletes, and volunteers in action in our Video Library.

A letter from our founder

A Message About Sunday Strong Athletes From Our Founder


Sunday Strong technically serves adults with intellectual disabilities age 18 and older. But, since this does not define who they are, you will not hear the term “intellectual disability” at a Sunday Strong class: we simply refer to our participants as “our athletes.” My sister Maria is the inspiration for Sunday Strong. Throughout our lives, I have never referred to her disability when describing her, she has always been “Maria.” This is the same with each of our athletes.

So, while we must label our program as geared toward “adults with intellectual disabilities,” our daily focus is on Maria, and Billy, and Patricia, and Marcy, and Andrew, and each individual athlete who brings hard work and pure joy to every Sunday Strong class.

If you want more specific information about “intellectual disabilities,” check out this comprehensive list from the Special Olympics website.

For those who want to help me make this world stronger, one Sunday Strong athlete at a time, both Maria and I welcome you to the Sunday Strong family. We are going to do great things together!

—Laura Radocaj

Laura Radocaj
Founder & President of Sunday Strong






Our Team

Our board is comprised of compassionate, caring human beings who are focused and dedicated to providing opportunities that will improve the quality of lives for adults with intellectual disabilities. Together we hope to make a lasting, tangible difference to in the lives of this population across the country.