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Special Olympics Ontario- Lennox & Addington Made the News!

posted Nov 29, 2013, 12:29 PM by Stacey McKeown
Special Olympics Offering New Sports Opportunities
Meghan Balogh
Napanee Guide

 

Special Olympics continues to offer sports opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities in the community.
They have been in the process of developing some new sports programs for younger athletes under the age of 18. There is indoor soccer for youth ages six to 18 on Sunday afternoons at the Memorial Community Arena, and a new program called FUNdamentals launches on Nov. 26 at the arena.
"It targets youth ages six to 12 years old, who would like to be introduced to sport and develop their skills to participate in Special Olympics," explained Aimee Burtch, a volunteer with Lennox and Addington Special Olympics. "The FUNdamentals program provides young athletes with a more in-depth introduction to sport-related motor skills, training, and competition, while maintaining an atmosphere of fun and meaningful interaction."
Other clubs are long-standing and as popular as ever.
Marilyn Elliott and her daughter Erin have been volunteering with Lennox and Addington Special Olympics for 12 years. They run the curling team, which meets on a weekly basis at the Napanee Curling Club.
Elliott also sits on the Lennox and Addington Special Olympics Councli.
"The curling club has been really good to us," said Elliott as the 14 members of the Special Olympics curling team prepared to practice. "They are very generous and donate their space for us, free of charge. And they're just so good to us. We've had bonspiels and members of the curling club have given up their time to come out and do the ice, put on a meal or snacks, and it's awesome. We're very fortunate."
Every year there is a special event with the Ontario Curling Association that Special Olympics curling teams across the province vie for.
"We compete in zones first and then go on," said Elliott. "The end goal is you get to curl in between the Men's Provincials. This year, there's also another competition because it's a qualifying year for the Provincial Games for Special Olympics. That's in February. We need to practice."
"I like it," said Joey Lowes, one of the Special Olympics athletes. "It's fun."
Elliott believes in the power of sports to provide some purpose and enjoyment in the lives of individuals who have intellectual disabilities.
"I think because it gives them a sense of team sport, and we're big on sportsmanship and camaraderie. It's become a social thing for them too.
Lennox and Addington Special Olympics are always looking for more participants and volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering with the program, or registering an athlete, should contact Aimee at (613) 876-8934. For more information on how to register as an athlete in any of our other sports, or volunteer with a sport please contact us at lennox-addington@specialolympicsontario.ca or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsOntarioLennoxAndAddington.

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