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‘Special O’ fall/winter season set

‘Special O’ fall/winter season set

oswald chHappy October readers. Our fall/winter season takes off right after Thanksgiving. Our many athletes are excited to swim, shoot hoops, twirl ribbons, sweep the ice and play floor hockey.

Registration on Sept. 14 was both efficient and pleasant. Forty-three athletes, including two newcomers, were able to go through the process quickly and have plenty of time left to socialize with old friends, meet new people and eat lots of burgers, hot dogs and salad.

Later on, athlete Genny Verge spoke to the coaches meeting about her Winnipeg experience, saying how “honoured” she felt to be part of the team that competed at this year’s Canada Games.

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Special O athlete Bruce Stuart, who is among those chosen to travel to the National Games in Nova Scotia next year, takes the lunge test under the guidance of volunteer coordinator Heather O’Donnell. Robert Wooten photo

Athlete reporter Mike Oswald also gave a speech to inform coaches how best they can assist him to get the word out about what’s happening with their athletes.

You can now also check out what is happening in Special O on the Coast by visiting an updated version of our website at www.specialolympicssunshinecoast.ca Thanks to soccer coach Richard Hoath for the work he is doing to keep our website up and running.

September 23-30 marked National Coaches Week in Special Olympics. A very big thank you to the coaches of SOSC for everything they do, dedicating their free time, smiling at every athlete, making each one feel like a winner, always encouraging them and never giving up. Truly, it is all of you who make our sports world go round.

With the Provincial Games behind us, we now turn our attention to the National Games that will take place in Nova Scotia from July 25 to August 3, 2018. The following athletes have been chosen from our local:  Aquatics, Genny Verge and Stephanie Rogers; Golf, Gus Vaughn; Athletics, Bruce Stuart; Softball, Chris Walker and Amanda Boghean. Golf head coach, Darren Lane has been selected to accompany the troupe. Congrats to all of you. Now the hard work begins.

The Nationals team was on hand along with six other athletes to take part in a fitness-testing program. On Sept. 28 a set of 18 activities were set up at the Sechelt Learning Centre’s gym to help track levels of fitness of our athletes.

Professional athletes use these exercises to measure fitness level, exercise form, flexibility, and functional movement patterns. Some of the tests measured a 30-metre sprint, wall-sits, a particularly difficult balance one known as “the stork test” as well as number of push-ups and the duration a full plank can be held.

All participants can look forward to being re-tested in six months time.

This is the first time the program has been offered locally. Thanks to coach Tania Finnigan for putting it all together and to the many volunteers, who guided the athletes through each exercise, encouraged them and worked with each athlete on their own level.

A final note about an upcoming October event concerns our basketball athletes who will participate in a skills camp on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Elphinstone School, from 11am-12:30pm.   It is hosted by the Douglas College ladies basketball team and will mark the third year of this fantastic opportunity for our athletes.

That about does it for this month’s column. As always, thanks for reading and stay fit, keep active.

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