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Foot Locker in support of Special Olympics Ontario

These past few months have been a challenge unlike any other, however in communities across the province, Special Olympics athletes have demonstrated their resiliency and willingness to accept any challenge that may come their way. When in-person sports and programs closed in March, athletes found new ways of participating, staying active and healthy, and most importantly, staying connected.

Athletes are still eager and anxious to be able to return to their in-person sports and programs once again, and they need your support now more than ever. As communities slowly start to make a safe return to sports, your contribution will be pivotal in ensuring that every athlete can make it back to the playing field and not be left behind.

For 15 years, Foot Locker has been a proud supporter of Special Olympics Ontario. This holiday season, please consider showing your support for over 26,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across the province. Your contribution now will help them get back to the sports they love.

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Support the Home Team

As you are aware, the ongoing pandemic resulted in a change of plans for the 2020 Provincial Spring Games and in-person competitions and events for the foreseeable future. This circumstance also caused Special Olympics Ontario and our programs to be left with all the uniforms that were ordered for our participants. Despite this, Spring Games uniforms will be delivered to those athletes who had qualified for the games. These uniforms will be delivered directly to the community coordinator/head coach for distribution to the athletes and coaches.

We would like to request that you consider making a small donation in support of your Home Team. Simply put, 100% of the donation will be directed towards to local Special Olympics program in which the athlete participates.

Thank you for your support of Special Olympics and your continued dedication during these uncertain times!

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Virtual Polar Plunge

HOW IT WORKS

1. Take a Virtual Plunge! For example, use a swimming pool, garden hose, icy glass of water… GET CREATIVE! Please be safe and stay out of rivers/lakes as your safety is paramount.

2. Take a video and post on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook! Tag @TorchRunOntario and @HushBlankets and use #FreezinForAReason!

3. Encourage your friends & family to donate in your video/social media post.

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Give the Gift of Sport and Inclusion

Special Olympics Ontario recently received an inspiring note from a teacher named Stephanie who works at Glebe Collegiate in Ottawa.

Stephanie wanted to say thank you to Special Olympics Ontario for helping to bring Unified Sports to her high school. She leads a team of 10 athletes with intellectual disabilities as well as 27 unified partners who together participated at the Invitational Youth Games last May.

“The Youth Games was an exciting opportunity that motivated the athletes to try their best. It also shone a light on Special Olympics in a way that was inspiring for school community and beyond!”

– Stephanie, Glebe Collegiate Teacher and Special Olympics Coach

It’s amazing to know that we have such an incredible family of donors who are making success like this possible for athletes all over Ontario. Together, we are helping schools like Glebe Collegiate to see that every athlete deserves the opportunity to demonstrate their value and be recognized for it.

Thank you for helping Special Olympics Ontario stand up for inclusion in sport.

I hope that you will take a moment this holiday season to send a gift in support of Special Olympics. Your generosity allows incredible athletes all over our province to make new friends, push themselves further, and experience the thrill of competition.

For Stephanie’s school, Unified Sports has been a platform that has sparked dialogues about inclusion in all aspects of life. By seeing the ways that all students can work together to succeed, students and staff have undertaken discussions about how to further break down barriers between students.

This has led to authentic new relationships based on mutual respect, common interests, and a genuine desire to spend time together. Each of the new friendships formed through Unified Sport is special, as they signify the value of diversity in heartwarming ways.

According to Stephanie, the Unified Sport team at her school has tripled in size since last year and is now known as the place where sports is the point and anyone is welcome!”

Stephanie sees Unified Sports as the game-changer her school needed to begin changing the world. YOU are playing an important role in these changes by supporting Special Olympics Ontario and helping to create sports programs that are engaging young people in communities all across our province.

Please take a moment to give the gift of sport and inclusion this holiday season, so that more athletes across the province can benefit from the joy of being part of a team.

I’m always thrilled to hear from teachers and coaches like Stephanie. It lets me know that we’re on the right track with our programs, and most importantly, that your support is making a difference in athlete’s lives.

Whether they play basketball, bocce, floor hockey, soccer or any other sport, the end result is the same – healthy bodies, joyful hearts and lasting human connection.

Thanks again for helping promote a vision of inclusion and acceptance that is changing so many lives, and best wishes this holiday season.

Sincerely,
Glenn MacDonell
President and CEO, Special Olympics Ontario

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Special Olympics Ontario

Since the spring, athletes have been actively participating in Weekly Wellness Challenges – with a wellness and fitness challenge for each day of the week, athletes have been finding new ways to stay both active and positive from home! These challenges saw athletes connecting with friends, families and coaches by phone, email or video chat, learning new healthy recipes, trying new workouts and exercises, tuning in to Facebook Live practices and meditations, and more!

Starting in April, Special Olympics Ontario athletes challenged themselves and Special Olympics athletes from across the country to collectively walk across the country with the Coast-to-Coast Challenge – logging their walks online, it took just a few short weeks for participants to make it from the East Coast to the West Coast! Following the success of the Coast-to-Coast Challenge, they then set their sights on walking across the globe, and have invited Special Olympics programs around the world to join them! With almost 1,000 participants from Ontario alone, the Walk the World with Me walking challenge has logged over 120,000 km to date and has reached four continents so far!

During the spring months, hundreds of athletes also took part in the Special Olympics Ontario Virtual School Championships and Special Olympics Ontario Virtual Spring Games. In the days leading up to both events, athletes practiced from home in several drills and activities related to their Special Olympics sports and then submitted their personal bests. Then, during the virtual event, athletes were welcomed with virtual live events including Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Facebook Live workouts, cooking classes, yoga sessions and of course the athlete dance!

Athletes are still eager and anxious to be able to return to their in-person sports and programs once again, and they need your support now more than ever. As communities slowly start to make a safe return to sports, your contribution will be pivotal in ensuring that every athlete can make it back to the playing field and not be left behind.

Read more