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Special O sports wrap up until the fall

Also, bidding goodbye to a soccer coach
Neville Judd
Special Olympics soccer coach of five years Neville Judd is moving on to Victoria but hopes to keep up with Special O in his new home.

June was the final month for Special O until September. 

Sunshine Coast Ravens took on SCACL staff in Hackett Park for a wonderful bit of softball with magnificent plays all around but ‘twas the Ravens who carried the victory, displaying how “teamwork makes the dream work.” 

During a yummy BBQ of hot doggers and burgers, executive members Pat Stuart and Allyson Pearson said it was an awesome time. The fans were very enthusiastic and they appreciated the great community turnout. 

Special shout out to Clarence Li for the magnificent outfield catch on a long drive! 

For bocce’s final hurrah, a small but enthusiastic group of coaches, volunteers and athletes joined the fun, ending a season affected by both scheduling and weather delays. 

No courts were set up and the rules were changed a bit, but no one seemed to mind. Magnificent shots were made and the day culminated in watermelon and cupcakes. 

Soccer also had an intimate group of coaches and volunteers playing alongside the athletes. Dustin Archer was terrific as goalie and Derick Pye was a dynamo on the field. 

It, too, ended with yummy snacks including lemonade, fruit and desserts. 

Head soccer coach Richard Hoath received a pin for his 10 years in SOSC and coach Neville Judd received a five-year pin.  

Neville, a 15-year veteran soccer coach (there are five of them in SOSC), has moved to Victoria for a new job in the attorney general’s office. He appreciates the “commitment and love of the game shown by the athletes.” He also respects the kindness and camaraderie that athletes show one another.  

Neville knows that believing in an athlete leads to them believing in themselves and helping those who need it is “A breath of fresh air.” He will be missed on the Coast but hopes to continue with Special O in his new community.  

In other “footie” news, I was lucky enough to receive one of the tickets donated to Special O by the Vancouver Whitecaps. I had a fantastic seat to watch them play the Chicago Fire at BC Place. Thank you to VWC FC for your support of Special Olympics. 

A reminder that Orca’s Hailey Borowski and Genny Verge will compete at the Canada Summer Games in Ontario, from Aug. 6 to 14.  

When I caught up with Genny, she said she felt honoured and surprised to be chosen to swim for a second time. She is pleased to represent the Sunshine Coast in her new capacity, and is looking forward to meeting athletes from across Canada and collecting and sharing hatpins. 

Genny’s intensive training includes swimming five times a week with the Chinooks and working two days a week with a personal trainer. Most of all she is staying focused on her goals. 

We know both our amazing swimmers will represent us proudly. 

Remember, registration is in September.  

Best believe, all systems will be go! 

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