School Programs 2021-2022
The Special Olympics Ontario School Programs Team is excited to be offering a host of virtual events for our school athletes in the coming school year. COVID-19 has not changed our goal of providing meaningful sport & recreation programs to student-athletes with an intellectual disability aged 2 – 21.
Welcome to the 2021 – 2022 School Year!
Our programs are focused on several key outcome areas:
- Developing Physical Literacy: Acquiring the physical skills that form the foundation of movement & confidence in physical activity.
- Teamwork and Inclusion: Embodying unity & collaboration through sport & competition and transferring those skills to everyday life.
- Personal Growth: Attaining the work-ethic, resilience & passion that comes from being an athlete.
- Being Part of a Team: Accessing the same opportunities as mainstream students to experience the comradery and life long bonds formed by a team.
Our program booklet contains an overview of our fall program offerings for both elementary and secondary schools as well as registration links.
All virtual programming for the 2021/2022 school year will be FREE of charge.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all school programs will be offered virtually by Special Olympics Ontario. Our team will continue our ongoing evaluations of COVID-19 restrictions and may adjust programs accordingly. Stay tuned to our regular newsletters for updates on program offerings.
Special Olympics Ontario Presents: Welcome Week!
Special Olympics Ontario will be hosting our first-ever Welcome Week Event on September 20-24th, with a LIVE day of celebration for both elementary and secondary schools on September 23rd and September 24th, respectively. At the end of the week, athletes will join their peers to share and celebrate their achievements and for starting a new year of exciting SOO sports and events.
Welcome Week will feature a set of 5 daily team fitness challenges for each class or individual student to complete by the end of the week
The Challenges Include:
Day 1: Yoga
Day 2: Core (Let’s Get Moving - for elementary)
Day 3: Sport
Day 4: Strength (Almost there - for elementary)
Day 5: Dance
The Live Day
The Live Event Days on September 23rd (elementary) and September 24th (secondary) will feature an exciting Live component hosted on Facebook and YouTube Live simultaneously, shortly followed by an interactive component hosted on Zoom for Secondary school students
The Live Day Will Include:
• A slide show featuring all the athletes
• A feature music performance and an unveiling of this year’s sports and events
• Students will get to participate in an interactive game of fun! Secondary students will test their knowledge with exciting games of bingo and trivia
• The event will conclude with a dance party!
Throughout the week, there will be three different Spirit Day Classes, and students will be encouraged to participate in:
• A School Spirit Day
• A Jersey/Favourite Sports Team Colour Day
• A Special Olympics Ontario Spirit Day
Special Olympics Ontario Presents: The SOO World Cup
Special Olympics Ontario will be hosting our second Virtual Soccer Tournament from October 18th - October 22nd. We will be offering registration in 4 inclusive divisions based on skill and equipment access. The divisions for this event include: At Home Learners, Unified, and Skill Level 1 and 2 Divisions.
Exciting New Features
The SOO World Cup will feature a set of 4 team challenge competitions throughout the week finishing off with a fun day event!
New Features Include:
• A warm-up week prior to the event filled with fun activities and drills
• Halloween Theme
• Pre-recorded daily warm-up videos for each team challenge
• A Team Spirit Day
• A Team Spirit Award
• Prizes provided by our Partner: The Toronto Football Club• Post-event highlight reel
• Live event platform and date flexibility
• A Post-event chat session
• Achievement Certificate
The Live Day
The Live Event Day is on October 21st via multiple virtual platforms. Activities for the Live Event Day include:
• Skill Competition: Passing
• Team Introductions
• Dance Party
The Fun Day will take place on October 22nd. There will be several synchronous activities that students will be encouraged to participate in:
• Musical Performance
• Awards Ceremony
• Halloween Colouring Activity
• Halloween Soccer & Trivia
• Karaoke & Halloween Costume Contest
• Dance Party
Elementary School Programs 2021/22
Special Olympics Ontario will be offering a variety of new and exciting elementary school programs in the 2021/22 school year, including our first Welcome Week in late September, Sports Festivals, a Basketball Event, and a school-partnering program. Registration information is coming soon.
Regional Sports Festivals are continuing to run this school year. The goal of Sports Festivals is to develop the fundamental movements of sport through various activities and, of course, to have fun. Whether students are learning from home or in person, they will be able to participate in the events.
Sports Festivals will be run virtually until December 2021. Currently, the Durham regional event is planned for October, and the Toronto regional event is planned for November. Sports Festivals for all other regions will be scheduled in the new year. Even if your region’s Sports Festival is not scheduled until the new year, there are still SOO opportunities to participate throughout the fall, detailed below.
School Partnering Program
For the first time, this school year we will be introducing our new school partnering program! The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for more connections between athletes at different schools due to the decreased number of in person events during covid. Classes who are signed up for the program are paired with a class from another school.
Each month, the classes will work on a task that is then shared with their partner class. The tasks will be provided by SOO each month and will include activities that share ideas and the love of sports between students. The tasks can be shared with the partner school as a written letter or as a video recording. Throughout the year, students will get to know the students in their partner class. Towards the end of the school year, virtual class meet-ups will be facilitated by SOO, where students will get a chance to meet their class partners.
One of our most exciting new elementary programs this school year is the fall basketball event, which will feature inclusive divisions that will provide opportunities for everyone regardless of skill level or logistical location to participate. The event will be run over the course of a week. For the first three days, athletes will complete the three asynchronous team basketball skill challenges.
The results will be submitted to SOO at the end of each day. The fourth day will be a live, virtual fun day, where schools can come together and participate in a series of virtual activities with all of the other schools participating in the event. Students learning from home or in person will be able to participate in the entire event.
SOO Unified Leadership Conference
We are so excited to announce our upcoming unified leadership conference open to all secondary school athletes, unified partners, and educators! The conference will be running sessions covering a variety of topics including the Unified Champion Schools Program, equity, diversity, and inclusion, leadership in unified sport, wellness, program sustainability, and much more! Sessions will be interactive and engaging with discussions, question periods, and brainstorming sessions. A combination of sessions with all conference participants and ones targeted to each demographic will occur. More information will come closer to the date and we hope to see you all there!
- November (Over 2 Weeks)
- 6 Sessions (Monday, Wednesday, Friday x2)
- Athletes, Educators, Unified Partners
Opportunities to Host!
Special Olympics Ontario has developed a PLF4M project for leadership students to develop and host their own Special Olympics Virtual event. This is a great way to inspire the next generation of leaders in our community. Reach out to the Special Olympics School Programs Team for more details!