The countdown is on as Durham Region prepares to welcome more than 800 Special Olympics athletes this summer.
42 days and counting until the Special Olympics Ontario Provincial School Championships.
52 teams from across Ontario will compete this summer in bocce, basketball, soccer, track and field and floor hockey after earning their way after competing in regionals.
The program provides sports competition for students 13 to 21.
Glenn MacDonell, CEO Special Olympics Ontario:
“The school championships are a staple that will continue because it’s really important to have athletes of the same age competing against athletes of the same age. That’s how friendships, camaraderie is all built. Sport is about competition and having the excitement of the games that comes with the games. It has all the makings of what a games and Olympics should be.”
John Henry, Mayor of Oshawa:
“This is just an opportunity for young people to show what they do well. There athletes and they’ll add some excitement to our community and it’ll bring a lot of smiles to a lot of faces.”
This is Monica Brandow’s third time competing in the provincial championships for bocce ball.
“To me it mostly presents me in my family because there’s a lot of handicap people in my family so it really creates hope for my family.”
Lisa Rushton, teacher:
“It builds definitely a camaraderie amongst the students in all the different classes which is great. It’s important for them to develop social skills so that gives them an opportunity to do that in a team setting. When they come back to the school setting it transfers over.”
Paul Martin, DRPS Police Chief:
“It’s just another opportunity for us to engage with the youth and demystify policing and have that connection. We enjoy working with the youth and being a part of the Special Olympics.”
4 students from Oshawa’s Central Collegiate institute will join hundreds of other athletes at various venues throughout Durham Region this June 1 to the 2nd.