Sunshine Coast Special Olympics team The Bears and Sunshine Coast RCMP officers came together on Tuesday, Jan. 28, for a spirited game of floor hockey.
The RCMP officers who so graciously donated their time were constables Kevin Shepherd, Tracy Dubnyk, Glen Martin and David Yuan and Cpl. Colby Attlesey.
The game was played extremely well and many spectators were on hand to encourage the athletes. Each of the officers was teamed up with athletes on both sides. The game ended in a 4-4 tie, but at the end of the day that’s what the score is anyway in Special Olympics — a tie — because everyone does his or her best.
Before the game, Chuck Bertrand, who was officiating, gave the visiting officers a run down on the rules.
In goal were Dustin Archer and Brian Ware. Both showed skill and determination in stopping shots that were fired their way. The other Special Olympic players were: Michael Beckman, Adam Casey, Brandon Lacey, Stevie Malcolm, Teddy Presley, Kody Pries, Alan Tsang, Ryan van Luven, Gus Vaughn and Chris Walker.
There was lots of camaraderie and teamwork among the players and lots of encouraging words from everyone who was there.
“Annette Bertrand asked if some of our members would like to play a game with the floor hockey team and we said we would love to,” said Attlesey, adding he was “excited and nervous” as he wasn’t that familiar with the game.
The other officers also had praise for the event and all the athletes, with all saying they really enjoyed the experience and would love to do it again some time.
Everyone worked hard to make the evening a success, especially assistant coach Mike Gojevic and volunteers Summer-Lee McKinney, Jennifer Hoey and Kelly van der Heide.
After an hour of play, the atmosphere was celebratory and everyone gathered for team photos. Each of the RCMP members was presented with a Special Olympics souvenir bag and all the players received a piece of red licorice.
Bertrand said it was “the most rewarding time he has ever had” and invited anyone else who wished to volunteer with Special Olympics to come out any time.