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Staying Fit and Staying Connected on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Special Olympics Washington athlete Reid Zimmer walking on a path through the woods.
Special Olympics Washington athlete Reid Zimmer stays active during week 6 of the Special Olympics North America Stride Challenge.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, occurring on 6 April, was created by the U.N. in 2013 to recognize the impact that sport can have on human rights issues. For 2021, the theme is resiliency—building back stronger and better.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Special Olympics Regions and Programs around the world have developed creative ways to keep athletes stay fit and engaged in community-building activities. Below is just a small sample of some of those activities over the past year.

Special Olympics Africa Region developed printable versions of Fit 5 exercise and warm up cards. Coaches can share exercises printed on hard card stock and share them with athletes who cannot access them digitally.

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In the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Region, Special Olympics Philippines has launched a weekly Zoomba class to keep athletes moving and staying connecting with their fellow athletes.

Watch One Session Here

In the same Region, more than 50 athletes in five states from Special Olympics Bharat (India) took part in a virtual rope jumping experience. Supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), the event attracted media attention throughout the country.

Read News Article Here

In Special Olympics East Asia (SOEA), the School of Strength China Edition video series was launched. Produced as a collaboration between WWE and SOEA, it features WWE Champion Drew McIntyre demonstrating warm up, strength and flexibility exercise at various levels.

Watch Series Here

During European Football Week 2020, Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia hosted Faces of Football, an online platform allowing athletes, Unified partners, coaches and family members to track their progress as they practiced football (soccer) drills demonstrated in the videos provided.

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The Region also saw individual countries host number of national, virtual Games and activities to support athletes at home.

Learn more below:

In the Special Olympics Latin America Region, Special Olympics Chile took part in the first-ever Unified eSports Tournament held in Latin America. Each of the four teams included Special Olympics athletes or a player with an intellectual disability, a professional athlete and an eGamer influencer.

Find Out The Results

Athlete leaders in Special Olympics Middle East/North Africa Region took part in the virtual Regional Athlete Leadership Input Council Meeting, putting their design skills to the test by building robots from recycled items found at home.

Watch The Video

In the Special Olympics North America Move Challenge, 1,300 participants are tracking their weekly exercise minutes in an eight-week fitness competition. Athletes and Unified partners could choose what type of exercises they wanted to do and log the time in the online tracker.

Learn More

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