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Special O athletes get swimming, swinging at softballs and practicing the art of the bocce roll

Athletes from the Sunshine Coast who have been unable to compete during the pandemic were granted the chance on Saturday, May 7 in Kelowna.
Bocce ball set with balls and case setup on lawn

Athletes from the Sunshine Coast who have been unable to compete during the pandemic were granted the chance on Saturday, May 7 in Kelowna. Swimmers Hailie Borowski, Stephanie Rogers and Genny Verge, along with parents/volunteers/coaches, Ralf, Gary and Cathy travelled the distance to compete in the SOBC Super Summer Series. The athletes all achieved personal bests and Hailie and Genny finished with firsts and seconds. 

SOBC acknowledges that this meet will take the place of the usual regional qualifier, normally held in Vancouver, and it allows a new pathway for athletes to qualify for spots on the national team for the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin. 

Meanwhile, in the great world of bocce (every Saturday, weather permitting), 16 athletes are learning and practicing the fine art of the “roll” and the “steal” and most importantly, the “having fun.” This happens under the guidance of Coach Judy Macdonald with help from assistant coaches Kathy Garmulewicz, Dave Sandness, Barb Huish, and Richard Borthwick.   

Softball, which began on April 12, has had only two practices so far due to uncooperative weather. While 15 athletes signed up, some of the more experienced players have been busy and unable to attend as of yet. Meanwhile, athletes are having a great time as per usual, so rock on! 

Although there will be a softball tournament in Coquitlam, athletes from SOSC will not be participating. However, Coach Randy Younghusband hopes to invite some teams to the Coast for a mini tourney before May ends.  

Coaches are the backbone of any sport. Madeleine Antwi, the new Sport and Coach Development Coordinator with Special Olympics BC, announced some Coach Development Workshops that will be happening in the next few months. One such workshop highlights in-person team sports (basketball, soccer and softball) on June 17 to 19. 

Speaking of strong coaches, Tania Finnigan, track coach extraordinaire, is home recovering from much needed surgery. She will be absent from practices for a while but never fear my dears, in the meantime, Cathy Verge, Ralf Borowski and Robert Wotton will be stepping up to the plate. 

Finally, a reminder, oral health is vital to an athlete’s ability to enjoy their activities. SOBC Health, the Special Smiles program and dental hygienists from UBC are continuing their virtual oral health assessments on Zoom. The next dates are May 16 and June 14 from 7 to 8 p.m. PST. 

To register, contact Randy Younghusband at coachryh@gmail.com. 

We may have been quiet, but trust, we haven’t been dormant!