BLACKSBURG, Va. – The roster of teams continues to grow as people across Virginia get ready for this year’s Special Olympics Polar Plunge.
Some of the teams participating in the 2021 Plunge have partnered with Special Olympics for years, including several fraternities and sororities from Virginia Tech and Radford University.
Chi Delta Alpha at Virginia Tech, better known as XDA, has served as a longtime partner with Special Olympics and has worked to keep that connection going even during the coronavirus pandemic.
Maddie Martin, the president of XDA, said it was essential to preserve the sorority’s partnership with Special Olympics, even with the challenges of COVID-19.
“We were all struggling with kind of that isolation, not knowing what’s going to happen, that fear, limited social engagement so that was really the point of all of these winter activities and involving us in it,” Martin said.
The members of XDA have been taking part in a number of virtual activities, including fitness combines, dance parties and trivia to keep athletes and volunteers engaged.
“We’ve been really, really blessed to still be able to work with Special Olympics regularly, weekly, still see the athletes’ faces,” said Erin Upton, service officer for XDA.
In years past, XDA members took part in a variety of sports with Special Olympics athletes.
“In the past, XDA has worked with athletes and Special Olympics to do a variety of sports from swimming to bowling and everything in between,” Upton said.
It is an experience the athletes and XDA members cherish and one that has lasting impacts on everyone.
“Being a college student that’s also involved in the Blacksburg community and not just on campus has been an incredibly formative experience and I think it elevated my college experience in a large way,” Martin said.
Click here for more information about this year’s Polar Plunge.