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2015 Provincial Floor Hockey Championship Announcment

posted Mar 14, 2014, 1:32 PM by Stacey McKeown

Ottawa to host 2015 Special Olympics provincial floor hockey championships

 
 
BY MEGAN DELAIRE, OTTAWA CITIZEN MARCH 13, 2014
 
 
 
Ottawa to host 2015 Special Olympics provincial floor hockey championships
 

Special Olympians attend a news conference at Ottawa police headquarters on Elgin Street on Thursday, where Chief Charles Bordeleau announced that the 2015 Special Olympics provincial floor hockey championships will be held in Ottawa at Carleton University.

Photograph by: Mike Carroccetto , Ottawa Citizen

Mélanie Héroux was bubbling with enthusiasm on Wednesday after police Chief Charles Bordeleau announced that Ottawa will host 2015 Special Olympics provincial floor hockey championship.

Héroux, 30, who has been with the Special Olympics since she was 15 years old, was one among the speakers at a news conference at Ottawa police headquarters on Elgin Street to announce the tournament.

Héroux played with the Ottawa Gladiators floor hockey team last year and, as an athlete ambassador for the Special Olympics, speaks at schools and community centres to raise awareness of Special Olympics in Canada.

“My role is to be a leader for my fellow athletes and to wish them the best of luck,” she said.

Nearly 400 athletes from 24 teams from across Ontario will gather in Ottawa for the championship at Carleton University, which takes place from May 7-9, 2015. Besides the 384 athletes, the event will bring 72 coaches and more than 400 volunteers to the city.

Héroux said the news was exciting for everyone on the team.

“We’re all basically a big, huge family,” she said. “So it means a lot to have the support of the police behind us for the big announcement of the championship.”

Other members of the team were present at the press conference, along with Ottawa Senators alumni Shawn Rivers and Brad Marsh.

Tim O’Brien joined the Gladiators in 2013 and sees the championship as an opportunity not only for the team, but for the city.

“I’m excited, I really am,” he said. “I mean, it’s an opportunity for us to host a championship and have teams come from all over Ontario to play, and it’s great for Ottawa.”

The arrival of the championship in Ottawa is the result of a partnership between Special Olympics provincial floor hockey, Ottawa Police Service and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, with help from the Ontario Hockey League. In 2013, law enforcement agencies across Ontario raised $1.5 million for Special Olympics Ontario through the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run marathon. The strength of the relationship between police services across Canada and the Special Olympics was the key message of Bordeleau’s address.

“The Ottawa Police Service and the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police have a long-standing relationship with Special Olympics across Canada,” Bordeleau said. “And that relationship will continue.”

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