WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Special Olympics North Texas is among the organizations trying to devise alternative ways to provide services and activities during this COVID-19 crisis.
Cheering hugs and high fives are what these athletes are used to but with Special Olympics having to cancel events and everyone practicing social distancing, organizers came up with a way for athletes to stay in contact.
“Their favorite things about The Special Olympics is the friendships they built being around their friends so we knew we needed to do something so they can still connect during this time,” Executive Director of North West Region of Special Olympics Texas Mike Strickland said.
By using the FlipGrid social learning app, all the athletes get to see each other from a safe distance while socializing. Many of the athletes say they are loving it.
One athlete went on to describe his experience with the app.
“I like it. We have the little app going. We can do different challenges you can do it in the house or out in the yard,” athlete Ronnie Baker said. “It’s a good little work out it keeps us active instead of sitting around.”
Melissa Bardin and her children said it’s something positive in a mostly negative time and have already made their own challenges for other athletes.
“Using FlipGrid has given our athletes the chance to stay active and participate in some daily challenges,” Bardin said. “We have actually been able to put out a challenge Charles created a video game challenge so he got on there and showed the video game and challenged all the other athletes too.”
Organizers said this has opened everyone up to so many ideas that they plan to add more activities and plan to keep going with the FlipGrid challenges when everything returns to normal.
“We want to continue with these even when we get back to our regular events because it’s a way we can daily engage and connect with our population and our athletes,” Strickland said.
Strickland encourages more of the public to get involved with the daily challenges and even create their own.
If you would like to install FlipGrid, you can contact Mike Strickland here.