Special O athletes take up swimming, playing softball and practicing the art of pétanque

Athletes from the Sunshine Coast who were unable to compete during the pandemic had their chance on Saturday May 7 in Kelowna.

Athletes from the Sunshine Coast who were unable to compete during the pandemic had their chance on Saturday May 7 in Kelowna. Swimmers Hailie Borowski, Stephanie Rogers and Genny Verge, along with parents/volunteers/coaches, Ralf, Gary and Cathy went the distance to compete in the SOBC Super Summer Series. The athletes all achieved personal bests and Hailie and Genny finished first and second.

SOBC recognizes that this meet will replace the usual regional qualifier, normally held in Vancouver, and it provides a new pathway for athletes to qualify for National Team spots for the Special Olympics World Summer Games Berlin 2023.

Meanwhile, in the big world of petanque (every Saturday, weather permitting), 16 athletes learn and practice the art of “rolling” and “flying” and above all, “having fun”. This is happening under the direction of coach Judy Macdonald with the help of assistant coaches Kathy Garmulewicz, Dave Sandness, Barb Huish and Richard Borthwick.

Softball, which began April 12, has had only two practices so far due to uncooperative weather conditions. While 15 athletes have signed up, some of the more experienced players have been busy and haven’t been able to attend yet. Meanwhile, the athletes are having fun as usual, so go for it!

Although there is a softball tournament in Coquitlam, SOSC athletes will not participate. However, coach Randy Younghusband hopes to invite some teams to the coast for a mini tournament before the end of May.

Coaches are the backbone of any sport. Madeleine Antwi, the new Sport and Coaching Development Coordinator at Special Olympics BC, announced some Coaching Development Workshops that will be taking place over the next few months. One of these workshops focuses on in-person team sports (basketball, soccer and softball) from June 17-19.

Speaking of strong coaches, athletic trainer extraordinaire Tania Finnigan is at home recovering from much-needed surgery. She will be away from practices for a while but fear not dear ones, in the meantime Cathy Verge, Ralf Borowski and Robert Wotton will take over.

Finally, a reminder, oral health is critical to an athlete’s ability to enjoy their activities. SOBC Health, the Special Smiles Program and UBC dental hygienists are continuing their virtual oral health assessments on Zoom. The next dates are May 16 and June 14 from 7-8 p.m. PST.

To register, contact Randy Younghusband at [email protected]

We may have been quiet, but trust us, we didn’t sleep!