Virtual MOVEment

Like most organizations that host large-scale, in-person events, we were forced to get creative last year. On March 7th of 2020, we hosted our last basketball qualifier at Garrison Forest. A week later, the entire state was shut down. With no sense of when things would return to normal, we knew we had to put our heads down and get to work to ensure we could stay connected with the 8,716 athletes of Special Olympics Maryland. 12 days later on March 19th, we officially launched the Special Olympics Maryland Virtual MOVEment as a Facebook Group and soon after launched a brand new website to host our virtual content on. We focused on fitness, health, social, and most importantly dance, setting up a weekly schedule of virtual offerings that our athletes (and anyone) could participate in from the safety of their own homes. 

Since the creation of the Virtual MOVEment last year our SOMD athletes, volunteers, and staff hosted 634 virtual events. Let us say that again… 634 virtual events.

  • Athlete Leadership Trainings: 170
  • Social Clubs: 109
  • Coffee Chats: 107
  • YAPpy Hours: 88
  • Dance Parties: 58
  • Move Meetings: 40
  • Produced Shows (You Can Do It, Justin & Jim Sports Show, etc.): 29
  • Fam Fitness: 8
  • Athlete Leadership Councils: 8
  • Cooking Classes: 6
  • Health Forums: 6
  • Games Nights: 4
  • Virtual Block Party: 1

We have loved exploring the virtual world over the past year, but we are incredibly excited to get back to our in-person events. While Virtual MOVEment is coming to a close, some of our popular virtual opportunities will now be part of Special Olympics Maryland’s regular programming starting in September! The virtual events that will continue are:

  • Athlete Leadership
    • Athlete Leadership Trainings: Scheduled to be released by the end of July
    • Athlete Leadership Councils: Scheduled as needed
  • Health & Fitness
    • YAPpy Hours: Once a week from September 2021 throguh May 2022 (new schedule TBD)
    • Move Meetings: Continuing through October
    • Health Forums: Continuing
  • Social Activities
    • Dance Parties: Every Saturday until the end of the year (run by our Athlete Leaders)
    • Coffee Chats: New schedule and limitation rules to be released by the end of August
    • Cooking Classes: First Tuesday of every month (run by our Athlete Leaders)
    • Games Nights: First Thursday of every month (run by our Athlete Leaders)
    • You Can Do It
      • September 13th and 27
      • October 11 and 25
      • November 8 and 22
      • December 6 and 20
    • Justin & Jim Sports Show
      • September 16 and 30
      • October 14 and 28
      • November 11 and 25
      • December 9 and 21

Working on a new schedule isn’t the only thing we will be focusing on in August. We have a few big projects in the pipeline. The first one being the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Stay tuned next week for exciting announcements featuring some of our nominees. We will also be working on our brand new Special Olympics Maryland website. We will be updating this website into the new and improved We are very excited about this project and can’t wait to reveal the new design this fall. During the month of August, you might start to see some updates to the website like changes to pages, colors, logos, pictures, and videos. This is all part of the website development project. If you have any questions or are looking for something specific that is no longer in the location that it was originally, please email and we can help you out.

We want to give the biggest THANK YOU to all of our athletes, volunteers, coaches, families, and staff for their help over the past year and a half of virtual programming. We are excited to take what we have learned in the Virtual MOVEment and create a more accessible and inclusive Special Olympics Maryland.