Training continues virtually for the Spirit League

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Practices look a lot different for many teams right now due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It gives us a little purpose beyond social distancing and staying out of other people's way," said Mike Schoor. "But we also know what it can do for the athletes."

"One really cool thing is we get the athletes and their families involved and some friends too," said Cal Maxwell. "We really just want to show our athletes that even though the world is kind of idle right now and things are at a standstill we can still make an impact and we can still improve ourselves."

In 2016, Cal and Mike saw something was missing in the Triangle, a basketball program for athletes with special needs, so they created one called the Spirit League.

"We just ran with it and they run with it too, literally, run with it," Schoor said. "That's been the miracle of Spirit League is seeing the looks on their parents' faces seeing them accomplish things that they hadn't even thought about trying."

Spirit League is a year-round program but now due to the COVID-19 in-person practices are paused.

The coaches are hosting workouts each week on Facebook live from Mike's driveway, so the athletes can get some exercise but also maintain a connection with each other.

"Our players, our athletes have built their own community," Schoor said. "That's what's so amazing. These are generally teenagers and young adults that didn't know each other."

"I think it's just seeing the power of relationships and seeing that those kind of overcome things such as coronavirus," Maxwell said. "This is a crazy time for everybody but to know we still have that community and have those relationships and friendships to overcome those things."

Through so much uncertainty the Spirit League continues to practice its core value bringing a sense of belonging for all.

"This is why we do something virtually because we can't really see anyone because of this crazy time but it gives everyone something to do at home," said Chandler Meshwork. "It gives people a chance to see everyone online. It makes everyone feel happy."

"It's great to get the text messages, Facebook messages, calls but really seeing everybody's smiles is something I miss for sure," said Maxwell.
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