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Special O Spotlight: Spring-summer season is upon us

Curling is closed for the season but fear not, spring sports are here
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The Special Olympics Sunshine Coast curling team wrapped up the season with the traditional silly hat day.

Curling is closed for the season and in the tradition of “silly hat” day all participants showed up and showed off! A big thank-you to Ann Sandness for the yummy chocolate curling rock. 

Curling is a favourite sport among many athletes, but none more so than Jordan McCourt. Jordan appreciates Special O because adaptive sports like curling can accommodate his wheelchair.  

Jordan acknowledged his appreciation with a donation of $1,000. Jordan and his mom/grandma Sandi Cavalier, raise funds through a longtime partnership with Caps Off Recycling depot. Folks all over the Coast donate cashable bottles and cans to Jordan and the funds are donated to fantastic causes.  

This campaign of generosity has also included purchasing medical equipment, the SPCA, and Wildlife Rescue. This year’s donation will help to pay for a portion of the rental at the Gibsons Curling Club. 

Jordan and Sandi found it difficult to collect funds during the pandemic but have since started anew. They would like to thank everyone who has given their cashable empties over the many years and Caps Off for all their hard work.  

The 2022 spring-summer season is upon us. Athletes are happy to be in the pool and back on the track and are performing like they never stopped! Soccer is set to begin on April 4, and softball on April 12. 

Dan Howe, president and CEO of SOBC sent an encouraging note to all involved in Special O thanking them for all they have accomplished as volunteers, coaches and athletes to keep Special Olympics going during the pandemic. 

“After two difficult years of waiting to compete and engage, many athletes are now experiencing all those things they have missed so dearly, and many more athletes will engage or re-engage in the months to come. Thank you!” 

Dan also mentioned surveys about effects of COVID on athletes that are being conducted to contribute to research into the needs and trends of differently abled individuals.  

New policies are being developed to better engage people with intellectual disabilities in decisions that may affect them. Locals need to be reminded that people with intellectual disabilities have to be part of discussions that affect them.  

Is an individual living in an institution such as a group home negatively affected by a certain policy?  

Do attitudes of society limit expectations of folks with disabilities through a stereotypical mindset?  

If people with autism attend an event or public forum are their sensory intake abilities being considered?  

And importantly, will the financial woes of those with disabilities be reflected seriously in government policies, as these affect both mental and physical health.  

Finally, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Even though most protocols have been lifted, mask wearing is still recommended in many situations. Remember to always practice safety above all. Be kind, calm, safe and active.