Program areas at SOILL
2021 regional competitions:during 2021, athletes primarily participated at a region level. State level events were not offered again until august allowing athletes to continue to participate at the region level but then a percentage did advance to state level competitions. Special olypmics Illinois continued offering virtual sports and esports and hosted workout opportunties for athletes via digital platforms including zoom, facebook live, youtube and twitch. Athletes were able to compliment their in-person training with train at home activities . Regional offices served 9239 young athletes and peer partners in the program.
2021 summer games:our Special Olympics Illinois staff, athletes and volunteers planned the 2021 virtual summer games that took place june 21st to june 26th. Instead of competing in bloomington normal at our state summer games over 25 activities were planned to take them on a road trip throughout the week virtually. Participants had the opportunity to watch segments, interact with each other live thru zoom activities, or play esports with each other. Our athlete leaders were instrumental in helping to plan the week's activities. The week ended with the virtual summer games celebration show featuring our board members, athletes, unified partners, coaches, parents, volunteers, letr officers, and sponsors. We had over 391 thousand views over social media that week.
Unified champion schools:2021 continued emphasising on the unified champion schools program. This education-based project, funded by the u.s. department of education, uses sports and education programs of Special Olympics to activate young people across the u.s. In order to promote school communities where all young people are agents of change fostering respect, dignity, and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. The unified champion schools initiatives include a host of core activities: be a fan "r word", social networking, sports experience, fans in the stands, get into it, partners club, school enrichment, youth summits, young athletes, unified sports (r), camp schriver, athlete leadership programs, training and education, youth forums and global youth congress. Special Olympics project unify incorporates Special Olympics sports and related activites. Currently there are over 300 unified champion schools. These schools are geographically diverse across the state and schools ranging from early childhood through college.
2021 fall games:in 2021, 554 athletes trained and competed in volleyball and 85 athletes trained and competed in equestrian at the regional level with 616 athletes and 36 unified partners advancing from across the state to fall games. Illinois was represented by 42 teams from 37 delegations supported by 152 coaches.