Special Olympics provincial games return to Antigonish
HALIFAX – Planning is well underway for the Special Olympics Nova Scotia Summer Games, to be held in Antigonish, June 20 to 22. This marks the second time in three years the town will play host to the games. The games organizing committee is now meeting regularly.
The chair of the Games is Dianne MacDonald, and she's pleased many area residents who helped organize the games in 2012 are back this year. "It's a fulfilling weekend, not only for the athletes but for the volunteers, and for those people that have committed themselves taking on committee chairs," MacDonald said. "Special Olympics is something that gets you in the heart and stays with you forever, and I think that's why we have the same people coming back year after year."
The President and CEO of Special Olympics, Michael Greek, says the weekend is the culmination of months of hard work by the athletes preparing for these games. "The annual Provincial Summer Games is the highlight of their athletic training provincially. It is the opportunity to compete in a sport of their choice against friends and rivals. Nova Scotia is the only Province in Canada that hosts this event each year. When you have over 900 athletes and coaches attending annually, you know it is a passion."
The games officially begins with the lighting of the Flame of Hope by members of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, police officers who have crossed the province to bring the torch to Antigonish at the Opening Ceremonies Friday evening. Opening Ceremonies begin at 5pm at the Keating Centre and the public are invited to attend. St. Francis Xavier University will be the main venue for the games. There will be competitions in sports such as athletics, swimming, soccer and bowling. Some of the newer sports in the provincial games in recent years include bocce, basketball and golf.
An event like this takes the efforts of many hands. Volunteers are needed throughout the weekend. While some roles require specific skills (sport officials and medical) most do not. All ages are welcomed to volunteer for a few hours or the entire weekend. Those interested can contact Special Olympics at 429-2266 x 6 or
or visit our website at www.sons.ca.