June 12, 2020 – Normally at this time in June, DSBN students would be lacing up their shoes, meeting new friends, and getting ready to hit the track to participate in one of the most special events of the year – the DSBN Special Olympics. We can’t all be together outdoors this year, but the games will go on with the DSBN’s first-ever virtual Special Olympics!
Athletes can choose from nine different challenges that they’d like to participate in by going to the virtual DSBN Special Olympics track. The activities are entirely designed to be done from home, including challenges like the ball toss, a dress-up relay, and standing long jump. It’s unlike any Special Olympics we’ve hosted before, but committed DSBN staff are determined that this year doesn’t go by without having the event, even if that means taking the games digital.
“When we get to see our student athletes compete in this annual event, it truly is one of the best days of the year,” said DSBN Director of Education Warren Hoshizaki. “The Special Olympics Organizing Committee worked hard to make sure these students can still have fun with this event from home. Their dedication to keeping the spirit of sport alive is so appreciated by the students, their families, and staff.”
Although these Special Olympics are online, students can expect some familiar event activities, but with a digital twist. For example, every year students submit their own t-shirt designs with a chance to get it printed on shirts for all the athletes to wear on event day. While there are no t-shirts this year, the tradition carries on with the winning submissions being featured on video for all of our students, families, and staff to see. And instead of an official opening ceremony, athletes can find a welcome video from the DSBN Special Olympics Organizing Committee posted on the digital track.
“Students are so excited, passionate, and above all, they’re so happy when they compete in the games,” said Andy Dermatas, Ross Public School Teacher and Special Olympics Organizing Committee member. “On event day, we see big smiles everywhere. And whether they’re smiling with us outside on the field, or smiling at home, well that’s what this is all about.”
DSBN’s virtual Special Olympics are open to anyone in the DSBN community who wants to participate. Students and families are encouraged to show us their athletic talents by sending in a video or photo of them completing a challenge, and we’ll share their skills to our social media! The form to submit a photo or video can be found here.