The Kinesiology Students’ Society is holding their first ever university Marathon of Sport through an organization known as Motionball. Spanning 20 Canadian cities, Motionball aims to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics athletes. Since 2002, the organization has raised over $10 million.
At the Marathon of Sport event, teams consisting of able-bodied individuals and Special Olympic athletes will compete against each other in a variety of sports for a day to help promote physical activity and inclusivity. The event will include activities such as soccer, track and field, circuit workouts and benchball.
Slated for March 30, Motionball Marathon of Sport is open to anyone on campus. Registration is $20 per person, and the event will take place in the Physical Activity Complex.
The president of the KiSS, Hannah Sollid, says that, in general, Special Olympics need increased visibility.
“A lot of people watch the Olympics and are interested in sports that the ablebodied people do. But it’s good for all people to recognize other individuals that maybe don’t have the same abilities or same opportunities,” Sollid said. “Special Olympics athletes are just incredible, and they’re amazing at these sports. Their teamwork skills are incredible, and it’s just so fun to collaborate and be together.”
Through events like this, the organization hopes to dismantle stereotypes about individuals with cognitive impairments while also raising money for the Special Olympics.
Sollid says that they will be tabling in the PAC to provide information for anyone who wants it, along with a petition that students can sign agreeing that they will not use the R-word pejorative anymore as she says that it is “not a great term at all, and we’re trying to change.”
While the Marathon of Sport event has no baseline monetary goal, Sollid says they will aim to raise as much money as they can for Motionball.
“All the money that is from the registration fee will be going to Motionball as well as the raffle money and any money that individual teams fundraise. So [participants] can go to grandparents or uncles or aunts or neighbours, and we will collect money, so then, we can raise those funds,” Sollid said.
The event is getting support from various groups. The PAC is allowing the event to take place in its main Triple Gym. Also, there will be Under Armour Motionball T-shirts available as Under Armour is sponsoring the event. Lastly, Pita Pit is providing lunch for the teams competing.
Sollid hopes that the event highlights the importance of physical activity for all people.
“Everyone should be inclusive, and everyone can participate in physical activity and should be because it’s so critical for overall health and for like mental, physical [and] emotional — it helps everything,” Sollid said.
By extension, Sollid sees a benefit in becoming involved with Motionball Marathon of Sport.
“It’s good to work with others that you might not otherwise work with in a school setting. I would just say do it. If you’re thinking about it, something’s tugging at your heart. You can hang out with some really, really cool people. These Special Olympics athletes are incredible,” Sollid said. “It’s just an amazing way to get to know people.”
For more information about the event or to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find more information on Instagram at motionballusask and on Facebook.
Photos: Motionball Usask / Supplied