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Special Olympics Awareness Week on the way

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This article was published 26/05/2021 (617 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I am pleased to be able to take this opportunity to remind everyone that June 13 to 19 is Special Olympics Manitoba Awareness Week 2021.

I was honoured to have worked with the other members of the honourary board of Special Olympics Manitoba in 2013 to create Bill 209, which proclaimed the second week of June each year as Special Olympics Manitoba Awareness Week. This initiative has been instrumental in promoting the awareness of people with intellectual disabilities who participate in sports not just here in Manitoba but around the globe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the athletes of Special Olympics Manitoba (SOM), just as it has all of us in one way or another. SOM realized at the onset of the pandemic that, in order to continue supporting the health and safety of their athletes, a shift to quality online/virtual opportunities was paramount to develop until such a time as athletes could safely return to in-person programming.

Supplied photo The week of June 13 to 19 is Special Olympics Awareness Week in Manitoba.

Over the past year, SOM has invested in several initiatives for its athletes. A virtual website (www.somflex.ca) was developed which houses all program offerings including fitness, health and wellness activities and opportunities for social interaction. With this shift to virtual programming, SOM realized that not all of their athletes had access to the internet. In response, 50 tablets were purchased and loaned to athletes and their families so that they could be connected to the new virtual programming.

Another SOM project was the creation of Safe@Home Sports Kits for group homes. An @Home fitness and activity guide along with fitness and sports equipment was distributed to over 10 group home organizations across the province. These kits have allowed individuals to stay healthy and active safely at home.

This year’s awareness week campaign involves an integrated social media platform that is focused on the SOM overarching message of inclusion – “Accept With No Exception”.  For more information on how to get involved as a volunteer, donor or as a fan of SOM athletes, please go online to www.specialolympics.mb.ca

I sincerely congratulate all members of the SOM family for accepting and conquering the challenges this pandemic has put forth upon us. Our athletes continue to show their competitiveness and dedication to sport. Their efforts and resilience is a shining example for all Manitobans to respect and embrace.

Heather Stefanson

Heather Stefanson
Tuxedo constituency report

Heather Stefanson is the PC MLA for Tuxedo and the premier of Manitoba.

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