The Orcas Swim Team is planning be part of the effort to raise funds to replace the diving blocks in the Sechelt Pool. The Orcas will be seeking your support for our first ever Swimathon with the goal to “Adopt A Block.” This COVID-safe event, under the guidance of Head Swim Coach Cathy Verge, will be a five-hour continuous swim in May. Stay tuned for details.
Under new COVID-19 guidelines, up to 10 athletes may gather outside to train. Once our local coaches and volunteers are organized and trained, start-ups will be announced.
Volunteers are the cornerstones of Special Olympics. The latest SOBC newsletter says, “Volunteers are the vital organizers who make Special Olympics BC programs and events possible.” SOBC always encourages the community to get involved and change lives through “the power and joy of sport.”
Locally, we will need several new volunteers once activities start to ramp up. Willingness to try, a big heart, and an interest in sports and supporting others are important qualities. Don’t be shy about signing up ahead of time! Training is free! Contact Marney Qually at 604-886-0208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Brooks, a longtime athlete turned peer mentor, is leaving the Coast on March 31. Brooks began in Special Olympics in 2008 because his Special Ed teacher Mrs. Yim recommended it. He played basketball, softball and soccer and had a short-lived stint in track and field.
Brooks eventually gravitated toward peer mentoring about five years ago “because I enjoyed working with younger athletes and wanted to give back to Special O as it was so important and helped me in my formative years.”
Brooks started with golf, then floor hockey, then softball for a bit. He expressed gratitude to coaches Chuck Bertrand, Darren Lane, Mike Gojevic and Randy Younghusband, who all welcomed and advocated for him to receive training.
“Every practice and event made new memories,” said Brooks. “I enjoyed interacting with young athletes, seeing their smiles and hearing about their week and following them as they moved from learning basic sports skills to being able to play more independently.”
Brooks believes that Special Olympics plays an important role in inclusion, personal development and fulfillment. “It’s a great opportunity to develop friendships with athletes and coaches,” said Brooks. “If you are thinking of getting involved with S.O., then do so. It’s a good experience.”
I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for your contributions to S.O., and good luck in your future endeavours.