Strider Sports International has been supporting Special Olympics since 2013. Starting out locally, in Rapid City, SD—where the SSI World Headquarters is located—they began participating in smaller events like the South Dakota Special Olympics State Games with a small demo area for athletes and their families to test out Strider Balance Bikes.
In 2014 with the launch of the Strider 16” and 20” Balance Bikes for older children, elderly, and individuals with disabilities, the Special Olympics USA Games was the perfect place to debut this life changing product. Nearly 3,500 Special Olympics Athletes from throughout the United States gathered together to compete in 16 sports, with cycling being among them.
Strider had a strong presence at the Special Olympics Young Athletes Festival where children under the age of 8 (who are not yet eligible to compete in Special Olympics) could test ride a bike and have their first Learn-To-Ride experience. Spectators, therapists, teachers and parents could hardly contain their emotions when they witnessed many of the children in attendance riding on two wheels when they had believed prior to this, or had been told by doctors it wasn’t possible.
Since then, many state level Special Olympics groups have implemented Strider Education Inclusive Learning Riding Basics classes into their programming for both the Young Athletes and older Special Olympics athletes.
Each year, Strider Sports International holds Strider Cup racing events throughout the nation with many of the racers being from Special Olympics teams in the host cities of the race. These races have been an astounding success, which has led to smaller Strider exhibition races being held at Special Olympics State Games around the U.S. Currently Strider Sports International is piloting a transitional program with Special Olympics International to incorporate Strider Bikes, and the Strider Learn-To-Ride curriculum into the competition process with the hopes of Strider Racing being an inherent part of the future of Special Olympics Competition.
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