As of this Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 8 am, people in New York with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Down syndrome will be able to sign up and schedule for the COVID vaccine at state-run mass vaccination sites including New York | Covid-19 Vaccine (ny.gov)
Special Olympics currently is not requiring athletes to get the vaccine to participate in programs and this information is not being offered in connection with Special Olympics. This is being provided for informational purposes only. Please check with your healthcare provider, social worker, case manager, etc. about the vaccine and COVID-19.
Wishing everyone a healthy and happy Year of the Ox 🙂
We have practices every Sunday from 11 am to 12:15 pm on Zoom. It is great exercise and a lot of fun. We also have an awesome dance party at the end of each practice with DJs Das and Zahn! Athletes and volunteers are always welcome. The Zoom Meeting ID is 386 628 027 and password is 12345.
On Sunday, February 21st our Zoom practice (11 am to 12:15 pm) will be sponsored by Bank of America. They will be bringing a great group of volunteers. If you can’t make it to our regular practices, you are still welcome to join us for this special event. Please wear a Special Olympics t-shirt if you have one. No worries if you don’t have one. The Zoom Meeting ID is 386 628 027 and password is 12345.
CALLING TENNIS ATHLETES! The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA Charities) is partnering with Special Olympics to launch a monthly webinar series occurring February through July. With guest appearances from WTA players and support staff, Special Olympics athletes who attend will learn helpful tips and tools to improve their skills in tennis and life.
Webinars are open to all Special Olympics athletes, but geared towards (and recommended for) tennis players of all levels. It is not required to attend the webinar every month, however those who attend every month will receive a certificate upon completion!
Dates and monthly topics: Webinars will be hosted the third Thursday of each month at 6:30p ET. The official dates and monthly topics are the following:
• Thursday, February 18: Overview of the Series and Goal Setting
• Thursday, March 18: Nutrition
• Thursday, April 15: Resilience and Perseverance
• Thursday, May 20: Mental Health
• Thursday, June 17: Identity: How to use your strengths and unique abilities
• Thursday, July 15: Series Wrap Up: Review of sessions and goals; celebration of completion!
Please complete this survey if you’d like to attend the tennis webinar!
NYC will be starting its first ever tennis training club this coming summer season! If any new or existing athletes are interested in tennis, please connect them with me and share this great virtual opportunity out, too.
Please see below for a message that was sent out from our headquarters office. If you have athletes or families on your team who are interested in finding out more information about potential eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please forward them this information!
Keep in mind, this webinar is not designed specifically for our population. questions can be submitted in advance by emailing
them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have additional questions, please reach out to our office. We are not the experts on this, but should be able to connect you to others who can be more helpful
Coaches: Below is a notice we just received from the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities that may be helpful for you and your athletes to learn more about potential eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Tonight’s webinar will be hosted by the Department of Health.New York State Vaccination Webinar Invite The New York State Department of Health will host a webinar for all people eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine this evening, 1/11/2021, from 7 pm until 8:30 pm to help answer any questions you may have. At this time, those eligible to receive the vaccination among the OPWDD population are those supported in congregate settings like group homes, their staff, staff who have direct contact with OPWDD service recipients in “outpatient” settings, and those over the age of 75. Prior to the webinar, questions can be submitted in advance by emailing them to email@example.com. To watch the webinar, follow this link: http://ny.gov/vaccinateny
Pace University’s Nutrition and Dietetics Program is offering a free Nutrition Q&A on Tuesday, December 8th at 7 pm. The session will last approximately 45 minutes and athletes/families will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding healthy eating, sports nutrition, cooking skills, picky eaters, and engaging children in the kitchen.
Many of our Special Olympics athletes have compromised immune systems or other medical issues that put them at higher risk for complications from COVID. For safety reasons and out of an abundance of caution, we will be unable to offer any indoor programs — including bowling — until at least the middle of November. We realize this is disappointing but the safety of our athletes, coaches, volunteers, and families is critical.
We will continue to offer virtual practices every Sunday from 11 am to 12:15 pm on Zoom. This virtual program has been extremely successful and we welcome other athletes and volunteers to join us. If you don’t know how to access Zoom, don’t have computer or smartphone access, or have any difficulty connecting please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to help.
Just because we can’t physically be together doesn’t mean that we can’t still exercise, train, party, and see our friends!
We will continue to have virtual practices every Sunday from 11 am to 12 pm until we can safely be together. Wear a Special Olympics t-shirt (if you have one), exercise clothing, and a smile. The Zoom Meeting ID is 386 628 027
Unfortunately, we will not have softball practices this year because the Parks Department is not issuing permits for ballfields. 😦 But, our Zoom practices will continue through the summer. We plan to start our bowling season in September.
We have a new program called Sports Season at Home. Please join us for Sports Season At Home, a Fitness Competition for Champions! This event is a safe way to compete against fellow athletes from across the state. Athletes will train and compete At Home and come together virtually to celebrate their accomplishments. www.specialolympics-ny.org/sports-season-at-homeAthletes will need valid medical and consent forms to participate. If you want to train and compete, please contact email@example.com.
Modified or Standard Pushup
Standing Broad Jump
Step or Push Race
Step Shuttle Run
High Knee Step
Line jump side to side
Line jump front to back
Train for Your Events: Athletes can train in all skills, achieving their personal best and will select up to 4 of their favorite events for competition. Coaches will submit registration with qualifying scores for divisioning and then final scores for competition. Athletes will earn recognition honors. The Training Guide is available here and competition registration will be available by email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit Your Results: As you’re training, keep track of your scores using the tracking sheet here. Once your training is complete you will submit your best event scores to your coach.
If you have any questions on the Sports Season At Home please contact email@example.com.
FREE DANCE PARTY!
Dance your socks off with a virtual dance with Special Olympics New York on Thursday, June 18th at 6 pm. The party is free but there is a fundraising option where you can win a cool pair of socks and other neat stuff. For more information and to register, visit specialolympics-ny.org/socktacular!
We have recently started to post sport-specific trainings that can safely be done at home with little or no equipment. One of the first sports to be uploaded is powerlifting. There is a series of 3 videos that have been posted. Each workout focuses on one of the events for competition and is designed to be done once per week.
VIRTUAL TRACK PRACTICES EVERY SUNDAY MORNING (11 – 11:45 AM)
Just because we can’t be in Riverside Park every Sunday morning doesn’t mean that we can’t still have practice, exercise, and see our friends! We will have virtual track practices every Sunday from 11 to 11:45 am until we can safely be together. Wear a Special Olympics t-shirt (if you have one), exercise clothing, and a smile. The Zoom Meeting ID is 386 628 027 but you have to email firstname.lastname@example.org for the password (it is the same as last week and every week).
In addition, Special Olympics New York is providing a lot of terrific virtual training programs.
Every Friday at 11:00am there will be a new LIVE work out with the whole SONY family! For security purposes we have to change the link for the webinar each week. So contact email@example.com for the link.
Every day, new content will be added to our YouTube Channel here: YouTube Channel.
While our programs are suspended, we’ve been working to develop ways for our athletes, families, and volunteers to stay engaged. The virtual programming is a great start, but we know that a lot of folks are missing out on the social connections right now. SONY Connect is an inclusion initiative to pair volunteers and athletes to get in touch and form relationships during this time of social distance and isolation.
If any athletes would like to be paired up virtually with our volunteers (text, FaceTime, email, etc.), please take 2 minutes to fill out this Google Form to help us match people up: https://forms.gle/nma6MTfQ7hXFrvuBA. The form is designed so that either an athlete can fill it out or someone can fill it on behalf of an athlete.
If you have any feedback or run into any trouble during these initial stages, or would like to volunteer to help, please notify Kim Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, we are rolling out a letter writing campaign for volunteers statewide to write notes of encouragement to our athletes with limited or no access to the internet. If you know of athletes who would benefit from receiving letters in the mail, please notify email@example.com. The NYSO staff will receive the letters and mail them out to athletes, so athlete information is not being shared with anyone outside the SONY office.
During this unique and challenging time, it is more important than ever to take ownership of your own health and maintain a healthy body and mind. We are here to help.
Beginning Monday, March 23, we will launch a six-week virtual training program custom tailored to YOU.
We will introduce this program at a LIVE webinar this Friday, March 20, at 11 a.m. CLICK HERE when the time comes to join us. You will hear from President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman and our health team. Chris Hughes and Toni Howard from ABC Sports and Fitness will also lead us in a fun, LIVE, workout!
Here’s how it will work.
Access New Content Every Weekday, Beginning at 11:00 am
These will include a multitude of health, wellness and sport-focused activities and educational resources following this schedule:
Wednesdays: Wellness/Mental Health
Thursdays: Athlete-Led Activity
Friday: LIVE Webinar
Stay Social with #Fit5NY
Content will also be made available via Special Olympics New York social media networks, so make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
The best place for this content on social media is in the Special Olympics New York #Fit5NY Facebook Group. Here, you will find a community of hundreds from the Special Olympics New York family, from athletes and coaches to supporters, staff and volunteers. We are all here to support one another through this new virtual program and well beyond. Join the Facebook Group Here!
Fit5 Challenge for Athletes (Optional)
Finally, athletes will also be given the choice to participate in a six-week LiveFitNY: Fit5 Challenge work toward 5 days of Physical Activity (30 minutes or more), 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day and 5 bottles of water (12 oz. or more) per day. Track your progress each week for 6 weeks and receive PRIZES!
To opt in to this Fit5 Challenge, Sign Up Here and then track your weekly Fit5 goals! This challenge will start Monday, March 23rd and end on Sunday, May 3rd.
Check back every Monday through Friday beginning at 11:00 a.m.
If you have any questions or require internet access, please contact Leanne Fusco, Statewide Director of Health Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-661-6783 or Jessica Dauvergne, Associate Director of Health Programming, at email@example.com or 585-358-0595.