Stay Fit and Connected with the SONC Winter Challenge Series!
This winter, Special Olympics North Carolina will be bringing back monthly challenges with the Winter Challenge Series. Challenges will be held for the months of December, January and February and monthly prizes will be awarded to those who complete each one. There will be live bonus Zoom fitness sessions every Tuesday at 6 p.m. The challenges can be done at home without access to internet. Challenges are open to all athletes to help keep them active and healthy during these cold months!
Resources Athletes Can Use to Stay Active and Healthy At Home
Just because an athlete may not be able to practice doesn’t mean they can’t continue working on their fitness, nutrition and health at home. Below is a list of resources to help athletes, volunteers, family members and others continue to stay active and healthy while practices are cancelled. Please check back here as more will be added to this page as new resources come out over the next few days. Vea recursos en español.
- A course designed by Special Olympics North America to cover the basic information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) including: What is the coronavirus, what are the symptoms, how does it spread, and how you can protect yourself. This takes less than 30 minutes to complete and was created with the guidance of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Access this course now!
- Easy-to-read COVID-19 Booklet: Written by and for people with developmental disabilities. Created by the Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC). Also, available in Spanish.
- Special Olympics COVID-19 FAQs
- Weekly Fit Calendars: Simple week-long calendars that athletes can follow to stay fit. These week-long calendars can be repeated as needed.
- Anytime Fitness virtual, inclusive workouts: Join Anytime Fitness instructors, every Wednesday, as they lead live, virtual workouts specifically for SO athletes.
- Fit 5 Guide: A guide based on the three simple goals of exercising 5 days per week, eating 5 total fruits and vegetables per day and drinking 5 water bottles of water.
- Fit 5 Fitness Cards & Videos: These Fitness Cards & Videos offer exercises to challenge all abilities. The Fitness Cards exercises can be done at practice, at the gym, or even at home.
- Fitness & Nutrition Tracker: Challenge your athletes to set daily goals of staying active and making healthy choices. A six-week digital tracker can be found here.
- School of Strength (NEW): School of Strength is an interactive online platform that encourages athletes to participate in a fun and engaging training program that they can do in the comfort of their own homes. Developed in partnership with WWE superstar Becky Lynch, this series of videos, a fitness tracker, a coach’s playbook and a caregiver toolkit all contribute to helping athletes focus on nutrition and fitness and getting the most out of their workouts.
- SONA Virtual Programming: This calendar of virtual Special Olympics programming happening around the country is accessible to all athletes.
- SONJ Yoga Cards: Created by SO New Jersey, this is a list of yoga poses you can try at home.
- How to Hand Wash: A step by step visual guide on how to properly wash your hands created by the World Health Organization.
- Proper Hand Washing Techniques: A video lead by a Special Olympics Health Messenger teaching you how to properly wash your hands.
- Stop the Spread of Germs: A visual showing how you can help stop germs from spreading created by the CDC.
This can be a confusing and stressful time. Here are ways to help the anxiety and stress you may be feeling.
- Self-Care Tips for Special Olympics Families: Tips from Special Olympics on how to care for yourself and your loved ones.
- Sleeping Tips: Tips to help those who may have a difficult time sleeping. Developed by the Special Olympics Strong Minds team.
- Techniques to Help with Stress: Special Olympics has developed a few tips to help manage emotions in stressful times. Take a second to try a few out!
- Tips to Help with Stress and Keep a Strong Mind: A Special Olympics graphic that shows six ways you can build a strong mind during stressful times.
- Yoga Guide (PDF): Created by Special Olympics, this is a list of yoga poses that you can try at home.
- SONJ Yoga Cards: Created by SO New Jersey, this is a list of yoga poses you can try at home.
- Family Flash Cards: Fun and engaging flashcards featuring each of the individual activities and at home equipment modifications for families to use at home to run Young Athletes.
- Young Athletes At Home: Guide for families and caregivers on how to run Young Athletes activities at home.
- Young Athletes Videos: Videos demonstrating the individual Young Athletes activities.
- Healthy Play at Home: Poster for families to track the various healthy behaviors they do at home.
- Find more Young Athletes resources at the new Special Olympics Young Athletes at Home website.
- NC Department of Health and Human Services
- NC Local Health Departments
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- CDC Guidelines specific for people with disabilities
- World Health Organization
- Special Olympics International – SOI COVID-19 Resources
- NC Council on Developmental Disabilities
- North Carolina High School Athletic Association Updates on Coronavirus
- Updates on School Meals Availability During COVID-19 Closures in NC – From No Kid Hungry NC
- Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC – COVID-19 Preparedness & Response
- NC COVID-19 Disability Form – Form to help physicians provide you with proper medical treatment, in case you need to go to the hospital for COVID-19 related symptoms
- “What will it be like? Tips to Prepare if you Need a Covid-19 Test” – Video to help prepare athletes for taking the COVID-19 test
- “Why your doctor looks different during Covid-19”– Video to help educate and prepare athletes for seeing health care professionals
- Special Olympics Mask Wearing Guide
- COVID-19 update from Special Olympics NC (December 8)
- Coronavirus update from Special Olympics NC (October 20)
- Coronavirus update: SONC fall sports season (June 16)
- Coronavirus update from Special Olympics NC (May 11)
- SONC provides Coronavirus Statement (March 6)
- Coronavirus update from Special Olympics NC (March 10)
- Coronavirus update from Special Olympics NC (March 13)
- Coronavirus update from Special Olympics NC (March 17)
Resources for Future SONC Events & Activities
This entire section is a living resource and will be updated as new protocols and guidance come out from the CDC, Special Olympics International and the state of North Carolina. The knowledge and circumstances around COVID-19 are changing constantly and, as such, Special Olympics assumes no responsibility or representation for the accuracy or completeness of this information. (Last updated on January 14)
SONC now has a summary of the Return to Activities Protocol. This guidance will be in effect January 1 – May 28, 2021 (no in-person activities are allowed prior to January 31).
We now have a complete set of videos that anyone running in-person gatherings should review (more resources are listed further down on this page):
|SONC Overview of In-Person Gatherings||6 minutes||This video goes through the steps and shows the resources provided to host a successful, in-person gathering.|
|Preparing a Venue||1 ½ minutes||Video from SOI that lays out how to successfully prepare a venue for a safe return to activity.|
|Travel/On-site screening||4 ½ minutes||Video from SOI that lays out how to screen participants upon arrival at a venue.|
As laid out, SONC will allow small group gatherings assuming all of the following:
- Everyone involved is comfortable with in-person training. Any participant can opt out at any time.
- All in-person gatherings are held outdoors only (inclement weather results in cancellation).
- There are 10 or less in attendance.
- It is a consistent group of the same 10 or less people.
- The Who is at High Risk? Fact Sheet is shared with all participants. Everyone who attends an in-person gathering must receive this document which provides additional information and guidance on assessing the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
- The Participant Code of Conduct and Risk Acknowledgement Form is completed by each participant. This has the participant acknowledge that participation could increase risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. This can be completed online or printed out and returned to SONC. This only needs to be completed once to cover participants for all SONC activities!
- The status of Athlete Participation Packets is confirmed to ensure each athlete is properly registered.
- All guidelines for in-person gatherings provided by both the state of North Carolina, local entities and relevant facilities, and those laid out in the code of conduct are followed.
- The on-site screening process is conducted and followed. SONC should be made aware of plans for in-person training. SONC asks that all participants be screened on-site prior to participating. Finally, SONC asks that all those who participate in an SONC activity be tracked to help with contact tracing, should it be needed. A GMS report will be provided after registration to assist with this. Below are resources needed to help you successfully screen and track participants at an activity.
- Screening Protocol for SO Activities: This document lays out how those wishing to hold an in-person activity should conduct screenings prior to people participating.
- Screenings and Tracking Template for SO Activities: This template is provided as a way to screen and track participants during Special Olympics events.
- Screening Protocol Flow Chart: Visual showing the steps to take based off how a person presents during the screening.
- Travel to Activity and Onsite Screening: Video from SOI that lays out how to screen participants upon arrival at a venue.
- The venue is adequately prepared. The following steps should be taken to prepare a venue for an in-person activity:
- Make sure to arrive early to the venue to prepare the space.
- Start by ensuring the venue is disinfected or sanitized, especially the bathrooms.
- Put up signage that reinforces proper hygiene procedures, physical distancing and wearing Personal Protective Equipment (or PPE). Signage can be found in the Supplies Needed section.
- Make sure hand sanitizer and/or hand washing facilities are available.
- Set up a single entry with screening and single exit areas.
- Preparing a Venue: Video from SOI that lays out how to successfully prepare a venue for a safe return to activity.
- Training in a Safe Environment: SOI document that provides tips on how to create a safe environment to return to training.
- The local program orders and provides the appropriate equipment for a safe gathering.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Cleaning Supplies: SONC has a central ordering process for all programs.
- Venue Signage: Signs that can be printed off and posted around venues. These include return to play field signs and training in a safe environment.
- Helping People with IDD Become Comfortable Wearing Face Masks: Resource created by The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities that provides strategies supporters can use to help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities become more comfortable with face masks.