With COVID-19 sidelining the 2020 Long Island Special Olympics this Spring, Jovia Financial Credit Union is stepping up to sponsor an “At Home” competition and training regimen for Special Olympics athletes.

As a Silver Partner to the Special Olympics New York, the Long Island credit union is supporting the regional chapter’s efforts to provide an opportunity for athletes to train and compete against one another within the state. The Sports Season At Home will serve as a proxy for the recently cancelled competition.

A long-time sponsor of the Long Island chapter of the Special Olympics, Jovia will be providing needed funds to help create the “At Home” training and competition components for Long Island competitors.

Athletes are currently training in four of 12 events, including everything from planking and standard broad jump to 10-step shuttle runs and vertical leaps. After six weeks of training, each athlete will be able to submit their best results for proper divisioning and awards.

“In all our years of sponsoring the Long Island Special Olympics, there is nothing like witnessing the pure joy and determination of these tremendously gifted individuals. We knew we couldn’t just accept the fact that there would not be an opportunity for these athletes to compete, so we are so proud to support the innovative approach Special Olympics is taking to keep their athletes focused, trained and competitive,” said Renu Dalessandro, chief marketing officer at Jovia Financial Credit Union.

“Special Olympics New York athletes live for the thrill of training and competition, and we have sorely missed bringing that to them during the ongoing health crisis,” said Special Olympics New York President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “In recent months, our athletes throughout New York have remained focused on training, participating in in our eight-week virtual program, getting together for online team workouts and more. They’re ready to take it to the next level – and thanks to dedicated supporters like Jovia Financial Credit Union – they can.”

“The Sports Season At Home couldn’t come at a better time,” said Special Olympics New York Coach of the Year Joe Amadeo, of Long Island. “Athletes are starting to feel the effects of social isolation and, quite frankly, so am I. This competition gives us a chance to be a team again and to have something to look forward to during these tough times. We are excited and proud to be back doing what we do best – training and competing!”