Rio Grande Valley Special Olympics to resume in-person events

1 year 3 months 1 week ago Tuesday, March 23 2021 Mar 23, 2021 March 23, 2021 11:05 PM March 23, 2021 in News - Local

The Special Olympics of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley plan to host in-person events this year. 

Every year, the Special Olympics help create memorable moments for the special needs community. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, events have taken place online.

Lauro Garza is the area director for the nonprofit and said times were tough. 

"It's been difficult," Garza said. "We've created programming that was online— that was four to five days a week, for physical fitness, nutrition, education, health education."

Garza said since the pandemic, the switch to online has been rough for some Special Olympic athletes. According to Garza, one of the biggest things that help with the athletes growth is in-person interactions and making connections. 

"You know hanging out with their friends, winning medals, and just being around— going to a stadium to go run or going to a gym to go play basketball, they miss it," Garza said. "In Special Olympics, it's all about participation."

But with COVID-19 vaccination efforts underway and safety protocols in place, the organization feels ready to get back in action. 

Now they're looking for volunteers to help with future events. To help keep everyone involved safe, Garza said all athletes, volunteers and family members will receive a Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. 

"They are for our athletes, their families, our volunteers and their families," Garza said. "The only requirement is that they be 18 and older."

For more information or for registration, visit sotx.org/vaccine.

Registration ends March 24, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. or based on availability. 

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