With summer on its way, the world of Special Olympics goes national.
Fresh from their victories in Kelowna last month, Hailey Borowski and Genny Verge have both been chosen to participate in the Canada Summer Games Swimming events in August in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Genny, who attended the games in 2017 as a Special Olympics athlete, will be at attending as a para athlete. Hailey will be attending as a Special Olympics athlete.
I had a chance to interview Hailey about attending this national event shortly after she first heard she was nominated. She said it was amazing and that she felt happy and excited for what was to come, while acknowledging the work that lay ahead.
To prepare, Hailey swims three to four times a week in Sechelt and Gibsons. She is focusing on kicking and touch-turns and on her favourite stroke at the moment, the front crawl.
Hailey also does cross training in track and field because as she puts it, “Aquatics and track and field are the most active of the sports.”
To get herself psyched, Hailey likes to listen to Night Wish, a symphonic metal band.
Fundraising is fundamental to the fun of Special O and for many, so is running. This year there is a return to in-person Torch Run events coordinated by LETR, or Law Enforcement Torch Run, volunteers.
The virtual option, running from May 28 to June 12, allows for athletes to set fitness goals and collect pledges from their family and friends to raise needed funds for their locals.
Soccer is another great way to get out and get active as well as have fun and make friends. The Vancouver Whitecaps know this all too well. They have always given props to and helped SOBC athletes and this year they have stepped up their game by donating 10 game tickets for home games from May 11 to Oct. 1. Athletes can request tickets by checking with coach Randy Younghusband.
The Whitecaps team has also generously donated a number of ticket vouchers and autographed merchandise items that locals can request to use for fundraising efforts.
June is the traditional time for sports on the Coast to take a break for the summer.
The other tradition is the annual general meeting and final executive meeting that will be held on June 16 via Zoom. This is a time to honour the work of coaches and athletes who have given their all despite abundant setbacks such as weather and COVID.
Discussions will include the need for additional coaching, volunteer and executive positions for the new fall season. If you have an interest in giving back to the community, we are looking for people to assist with floor hockey, rhythmic gymnastics and golf. And if you have an interest in sitting on the executive, program coordinator and volunteer coordinator positions will be open.
For more information, contact: Pat Stuart at: firstname.lastname@example.org; Randy Younghusband at: email@example.com; Allyson Pearson at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Olympics might look as if we are slowing down, in reality we’re just gearing up for fall!