In 2020, along with those in our Plunge community, Special Olympics Massachusetts has faced serious challenges and was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. We were forced to stop offering in-person training and competition between March and July. But the mission of Special Olympics did not stop. We transitioned to virtual sports programming and at-home fitness training, stressing the importance of staying fit, active, and connected while at home.
Sports is about more than how fast you can run the 100m dash, or how forcefully you can kick a soccer ball at the net. Just as important as how you feel walking onto the field, is how you feel on the days you don't walk onto the field at all. The pandemic has required we take a long, hard look at how we support our athletes when they aren't competing. We have an opportunity to offer a broader spectrum of programming that caters to both the physical and psychological health of the people we serve, because it will make them better, stronger athletes in competition, and make us all better, stronger members in our communities.
Over the coming months, Special Olympics Massachusetts will be overhauling our operations to reflect a new way of bringing people together -- one focused on providing programming more often, but closer to home. Funding will be critical to ensure Special Olympics athletes can return to high-quality sports training and competition, and we're asking Plungers, Super Plungers, and Towel Holders alike to ask your communities to help us fund inclusion by donating to your Plunge.