Well, what a year 2020 has been! Although for much of the year all Special Olympics training and competition has had to be put on hold as a result of Covid-19, some of our local affiliated clubs and groups have been able to continue to play in a Covid-19 compliant manner.
Despite the many restrictions that have been placed upon participating in sport and physical activity in recent months, ‘disability sport’ has had an exemption from these at various times throughout the year.
Two sports that have managed to continue, in some shape or form, have been boccia and badminton. ActivLives, one of our key delivery partners in Ipswich, has continued to provide sessions specifically for participants with an intellectual disability.
“During the summer months we were able to play boccia and badminton outdoors in local parks in Ipswich, which was a great way of us all getting back to group activity after the first lockdown ended in July”, said Mike McCarthy, from ActivLives. “During the autumn we were able to play both sports indoors, apart from during the second lockdown period in November. Obviously, we had to ensure that we were meeting all of the UK Government Covid-19 Guidelines, as well as those of Boccia England and Badminton England. The response of the players, and their families, over the last few months has been absolutely brilliant. Everyone has adapted to the restrictions and guidelines that we have had to put into place in order to return to play safely – the positive attitude to returning from players, families and volunteers, has been a real inspiration for all of us”.
Who knows what 2021 will bring. Whatever happens next, we do know that we have a lot of very committed athletes in Suffolk, who are ready and waiting to get back to play, just as soon as they can!