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Chairman's Corner:
The Impact of COVID-19 on LETR
How many times in the past few years have you heard the word ‘unprecedented’ used to describe a weather event or climate change – here in Australia it has been relentless – when in reality it was a poor choice of words because those things have happened before? Well in the past six weeks the world has had to confront a crisis that is truly ‘unprecedented’! 

Not just in our lifetime – I don’t think the world has ever ground to a halt as rapidly and comprehensively as has happened in response to the Coronavirus. 

The impact on Torch Runners has varied of course – those of you still in the law enforcement workforce are probably working harder than ever before – dealing with social issues not usually encountered on a normal workday. Some of you may have already or will soon pick up the virus - I hope that your recovery is rapid and complete.

Regardless of the degree that you have been impacted, I am certain that you will have had to push some things onto the backburner – and your LETR activities could fall into that category. I’d ask that you not let your commitment to one of the finest causes there is slip away and be forgotten. Click here to read more from Scott Whyte, Chairman of the LETR Executive Council.

2020 LETR International Conference is Canceled
The LETR International Executive Council in conjunction with Special Olympics Maryland, LETR Maryland, and Special Olympics International have made the decision to cancel the 2020 LETR International Conference due to the current environment with COVID-19 and the hardships it will place on our LETR & Special Olympics Programs.

Planning is underway for the 2021 Conference which will be held in Chicago

Whilst the conference has been cancelled, we are determined to carry through with as many elements of the agenda as we possibly can. More information to come in the coming months. Please be sure to check the LETR website and monitor this newsletter for more information.
Social Distancing

The entire world has been impacted by the global pandemic called the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It has not only been hard on the world economy, but our daily lives and social interaction have been affected as well. The terms “social distancing” and “shelter in place” have become the new normal. This is severely impacting businesses and individual workers, and we feel for them. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those first responders and the front line medical professionals who are helping in this time of crisis. We salute you for your service in a time of great risk to you personally.


Along with everything else, LETR events and athlete practices and competitions have been cancelled indefinitely. We all must do our part in this battle to avoid the spread of this virus and “level the curve.” Lives of people throughout the world depend on it. If we know anything about the human spirit, we know it will persevere. We will get beyond this unprecedented time in history and emerge stronger! We have all seen amazing things happen when we believe and commit to making a difference! We can do this!


Please take the time to read a great perspective on “social distancing.” This column is republished with the permission of Special Olympics New York CEO Stacey Hengsterman.

Staying Fit at Home with School of Strength
Led by WWE Superstar Becky Lynch and six Special Olympics athletes, the fitness campaign features four free workout videos with varying levels of difficulty in strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance exercises, encouraging athletes to commit to a lifetime of fitness habits. On the campaign website, you can also access additional materials, including a fitness tracker, meal planning guide, healthy recipes, games, and tools for sports coaches and caregivers of people with intellectual disabilities. 
Special Olympics New York Day

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proclaimed March 6, 2020 “Special Olympics New York Day” across the state as the nonprofit organization marks the 50th anniversary of its founding.

“For 50 years, Special Olympics New York athletes, and those who support them, have cultivated a climate of inclusion that continues to grow throughout New York’s schools and communities,” said Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “We are so grateful to Governor Cuomo for recognizing the impact of our movement and encouraging New Yorkers to reflect on the value of including people with intellectual differences on ‘Special Olympics New York Day.’”

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