Celebrating our Faith during COVID-19

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Strengthening Vulnerabilities While Safer At Home

July 27, 2020

”The Lord reserves a special place in His heart for whoever has a disability”
~Pope Francis, Special Olympics 50th Anniversary

Pope Francis reminds us that embracing our vulnerabilities enables our authentic selves to truly emerge.  For more than 50 years, the Special Olympics has been dedicated to its mission of providing people with special needs “opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families.” While many community sports have been suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, Special Olympics Hawaii continues to successfully engage 5,272 athletes through various programs to help them stay fit while safer at home. For example, the Young Athletes Play Program introduces young kids ages 2 to 7 to basic sports skills like running, kicking and throwing.  Caregivers can also find easy-to-follow guides to continue staying active with their Young Athletes at Home.

Older Special Olympians who are training for competition are also able to continue their workout routines from the safety of their homes.  STAY FIT WITH SOHI (Special Olympics Hawaii) offers a Facebook/digital option and also a Non-Digital option with downloadable exercises. The exercises are also readily available to anyone interested in staying fit, especially while sheltering at home.  If you are new to exercise or experiencing health challenges, please consult your physician before you begin.   

  • FIT 5 is a fitness guide for athletes to achieve their personal best with physical activity, nutrition, and hydration.  It includes short videos to improve endurance, flexibility, strength and balance. 
  • SCHOOL OF STRENGTH is a series of exercise videos that encompasses three levels:  Superstar Trainer, Champion Trainer and Master Trainer
  • Three times a week, athletes can participate in LIVE EVENTS on Zoom.  Team coaches can get Zoom access information from their Head of Delegation.
  • YOUNG ATHLETESis a sport and play program for children ages 2 to 7 with and without intellectual disabilities.  Aside from improving motor skills by incorporating activity time at home with the family, Young Athlete activities help to build daily skills for an active, healthy life.
  • Young Athletes Story Time offers a schedule of weekly storytelling available on Zoom to accommodate families who are safer-at-home.
  • This year, the annual AUKAKE FITNESS CLASSIC will be held virtually via Zoom on August 8. The state competition features events for athletes and unified teams of all abilities, including specific events for athletes who use wheelchairs.

Good luck to all the Summer Special Olympians as they inspire us all with their strength, vulnerabilities and commitment to their athlete oath: “Let me win.  But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt!”