FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The 2020 “Endeavor Games” started at the Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities Thursday and will continue through the weekend. The games have gone virtual this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This years virtual Endeavor Games feature team events, where athletes with different abilities can compete remotely at home and submit photos and videos showing how they did in each event.
The team events are supplemented by scheduled zoom clinics, which are used to teach the athletes about the events by some of the top coaches for each sport.
Events in this years games include a virtual team challenge, e-sport gaming, 5K, archery, air rifle shooting, cycling, swimming, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, track and field, nordic skiing, paratriathlon, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.
Michelle Kimpel, Director of Wellness and Adaptive Sports at Turnstone says that the clinic sessions are important because they help to educate the athletes about new sports that they may have not competed in before.
“Obviously they are here to learn, they love the sports, so hopefully we can at least give them the tools that they need to advance to the next stage if that is what their dream is,” said Kimpel.
Kimpel says that the virtual format has helped to increase participation this year.
“We’ve been able to cover forty-three of the U.S. states, two of the U.S. territories, and we have a total of seven countries that are going to be represented. So it is now a global event, which is very exciting for the teams that have been working on this,” said Kimpel.
Fort Wayne athlete, Maggie Peters, has been participating in the Endeavor Games since they started at Turnstone. She says that while it’s a bit different this year, she is excited to welcome so many people virtually to join in.
“More people will actually to be able to sort of compete in this event, just because it’s virtual. You can compete at home and then you can send your results, so I bet more people can send and participate, which I think is awesome,” said Peters.
Turnstone is slowly reopening facilities that were closed due to the pandemic. Officials say that they hope to have everything back to full operations by the fall.