Governor’s Goes Virtual for 2020 Special Olympics

By Megan Mullen, Grace Studley, Rayha Karanth, & Eric Lin

Governor’s Goes Virtual for 2020 Special Olympics

The Governor’s Academy has enjoyed a long history of working with Special Olympics Massachusetts, and we are excited to join forces again this fall. For more than 30 years Govs students have volunteered to organize and run the State Soccer Cup and cheer on teams at the event. In previous years, Govs students who were heads and shadows for the Special Olympics Management Team would begin planning the event months in advance: participating in organizational meetings, coordinating meals, preparing activities, and more to ensure everything ran smoothly. On the day of the tournament, the entire Govs community could volunteer to help with opening ceremonies, soccer skills, fans in the stands, Olympic Town, awards, and more. We worked hard to create a lively and successful tournament that is always a great time for everyone involved.

This year we decided to move the tournament online for the health and safety of the athletes and all others who contribute to the event. The Special Olympics Management Team, under the leadership of co-directors Averill McCorkle and Dani White, has planned lots of virtual activities to make this year’s tournament exciting for all participants. Instead of just one day, the virtual tournament will last a few weeks and include many different online activities. The Instagram account @specialolympics.govs will be posting information throughout the tournament as well as polls and survey questions for the athletes. There will be challenges such as a trick shot competition where athletes can send in videos of their skills. If you have not already done so please go and check out our Opening Ceremonies Video and soccer challenges on the Instagram account! In previous years we have made cards to put in lunch bags, but this year we will be making both cards and videos to send to athletes and to raise enthusiasm for the tournament. We are delighted that by going virtual we are able to reach more than 14,000 athletes because all SOMA sports are in swing both in-person and online. 

Although we sadly cannot host an on-campus tournament this year, we are aiming to create a virtual event that gives athletes the opportunity to practice their skills and have fun. Hopefully, we will be back on the fields together next year, but in the meantime, we are looking forward to this year’s activities. We can’t wait to see everyone’s smiling faces and virtual skills!