Special Olympics Kansas has had to find new ways to help its athletes stay healthy during the pandemic, when the large annual competitions could not be held.
As part of the Healthy Athletes program, Special Olympics athletes have continued to participate in virtual fitness programs and get other athletes, family members and friends of Special Olympics to join them in their workout routines. Facebook Live workouts and videos on healthy eating tips have been featured.
Grant funds helped purchase cornhole and bocce ball sets to provide new outdoor activities. A regional basketball tournament was held in February, but the state tournament planned in Hays had to be cancelled. With about 100 teams prepared to go to Hays, athletes and coaches were disappointed but the decision kept them safe.
Special Olympics Kansas also incentivized athletes and family members to get out on nature hikes at state parks. In December, Kansas athletes were in fourth place in a nationwide step challenge.