SOSC Creates Virtual Season: Healthy Lifestyle Challenge for Athletes Amid COVID-19 Health Crisis

Special Olympics Southern California launched a Healthy Lifestyle Challenge in lieu of the canceled Spring Sports Season affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. The challenge, which launched April 6 and runs through June 7, will serve as a virtual season designed to help set healthy patterns and routines for all members of the SOSC community, athletes and fans alike.

In just one week, more than 600 athletes, family members, school participants, and volunteers signed up to start the challenge. Although all sports practices, competitions and co-hosted school activities were canceled through June 7, SOSC is still committed to helping athletes create a healthy lifestyle year-round. Learn more at

“Our athletes are at a higher risk for catching a severe illness from COVID-19,” said SOSC President and CEO Bill Shumard. “We will continue to provide our athletes with free health and wellness programming in a fun, competitive environment, as they practice safe social distancing. We will get through this together and come back stronger than ever.”

The Healthy Lifestyle Challenge encourages all to stay fit, eat smart, and have fun. During each week-day, participants are presented with hydration, nutrition, and fitness video challenges. Not only does the virtual season offer health and fitness tips, it also brings a fun, competitive element. Those who sign up are encouraged to submit a participation log in order to earn individual or team points.

Interested participants can sign up online at any point during the 9-week challenge under one of the following three categories: SOSC athlete, family/friend/volunteer, or school program.

“Even in a time where the future is uncertain, the health and well-being of SOSC athletes is the upmost importance,” said Bill. “The Healthy Lifestyle Challenge stresses the importance of self-care, finding social activities and having fun. We might not be able to provide life-changing sports training and competitions on the playing field right now, but we will continue to innovate to serve our athletes year-round through virtual programming.”

Another way SOSC is encouraging athletes to stay active is through a Dance Challenge. Special Olympics athletes love to have fun showing off their dance moves, and that’s what this challenge is all about. For the challenge, people perform the official SOSC dance, post it to social media, and challenge family and friends to dance and donate for inclusion. The dance challenge has already garnered over 150,000 views on social media and raised over $10,000. Learn more at

Although COVID-19 has greatly affected all parts of the community, SOSC is accepting the challenge to still inspire joy, friendship, and competition, while spreading acceptance and inclusion to all. Providing important health and wellness programming for those with intellectual disabilities is critical now more than ever.

Learn more about the Healthy Lifestyle Challenge at

Special Olympics Southern California 

Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of 38,200 athletes and their communities through sports, leadership programs, and athlete health. Our free, year-round programs lead to improved health, self-confidence, and independence among athletes with intellectual disabilities and acceptance and inclusion in the community. Special Olympics Southern California has earned a four-star ranking from Charity Navigator for exceeding industry standards. This ranking is the highest Charity Navigator offers to an organization and is given because Special Olympics has demonstrated strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency. Learn more at 

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