The Games Must Go On: DeSales Joins Forces with Slippery Rock, Juniata for Special Olympics Pennsylvania Virtual Fall Sectional
The COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t keep hundreds of Special Olympics athletes from taking part in one of the year’s biggest events.
Instead of hosting the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Eastern Fall Sectional, DeSales teamed up with two other schools to make the event a virtual one. Participants were taken on a virtual road trip throughout Pennsylvania with “all roads lead to inclusion” as the theme.
“Because it went virtual, we actually worked with Slippery Rock and Juniata to create one big fall sectional,” says Olivia Craig ’21, event director for this year’s eastern fall sectional. “They did the central and western sectionals. So now we’re all working together to make a big virtual event for the athletes.”
DeSales has hosted the eastern fall sectional for the past two years, bringing athletes to campus to compete in bocci, powerlifting, soccer, volleyball, and long distance running and walking. This year, along with the traditional Opening Ceremonies and awards ceremony, organizers mixed in a dance party, bingo, and a pet show for the athletes to highlight their pets.
“We wanted to give the athletes an experience to be able to showcase their skills because they have worked so hard for so many years. So even though they can’t be on our campus competing, we’re definitely doing something to allow them to take part in Special Olympics Pennsylvania.”