Persons with disabilities play sports too!

The other day while at the Orthotics office with my son, I noticed and grabbed a magazine called Play2Podium.  It states it’s a magazine for special needs families.  This was a free sample copy of the Winter 2011 edition.

While going through it I found some great information on sports for people with disabilities to participate in.  I did some more looking and found some more sites!  I’ve bookmarked all the ones I have found so far into one folder and will certainly keep them handy when I hear of others looking for something to get involved in.

I wanted to share them with you.  Some will fall into the winter sports and as you know, winter will be here soon enough! 😉

Canadian Amputee Sports Associationhttp://canadianamputeesports.ca/index.html

Canadian Blind Sportshttp://canadianblindsports.ca/eng/index.htm

Canada Para-Alpine Ski Teamhttp://canski.org/para-alpine-ski-team

The Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Associationhttp://ccpsa.ca/en/default.aspx

Canadian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Associationhttp://cewha.ca/

Canadian Wheelchair Sports Associationhttp://www.cwsa.ca/en/site/

Canadian Association for Disabled Skiinghttp://disabledskiing.ca/

Ontario Sledge Hockey Associationhttp://ontariosledge.com/

ParaSport Ontariohttp://www.parasportontario.ca/Default.aspx

Wheelchair Basketball Canadahttp://www.wheelchairbasketball.ca/en/homePage.aspx

ParaEquestrian Canadahttp://www.equinecanada.ca/para-equestrian/

Ontario Blind Sports Associationhttp://blindsports.on.ca/

Wheelchair Tennishttp://www.tenniscanada.com/tennis_canada/Pub/DisplayPage.aspx?enc=WqmHTIXb3hZBDLgekBXg/g16dCnUPZfiIR142ql1ulNxfx5r0F1EFukdEywK7teN7x7gN9vSqE+iOWSfJQywCw==

Special Olympics Canadahttp://www.specialolympics.ca/

Special Olympics Ontariohttp://www.specialolympicsontario.com/

Special Olympic Sports:

Winter Sports

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Curling
  • Figure Skating
  • Floor Hockey
  • Snowshoeing
  • Speed Skating

Summer Sports

  • Aquatics
  • Athletics (Track & Field)
  • Bowling (5 & 10 Pin)
  • Power-lifting
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Softball

Canadian Wheelchair Curling Instruction Videoshttp://www.curling.ca/start-curling/wheelchair-curling-instruction/

See anything of interest to you or a family member?  Check it out further by visiting their website.  So much is gained by participating!

I will add more as I come across them, but I think we’ve got a good start here! 🙂

Looking to volunteer?  Each of these sports I’m sure welcome volunteers! 🙂 Contact the sites for more information on volunteering and/or if you have questions about the sport.

Till next time…

Get involved and play hard! 🙂

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Special Olympics

Special Olympics is humanity’s greatest classroom, where lessons of ability, acceptance and inclusion are taught on the fields of competition by our greatest teachers – the athletes”

 

Special Olympics Canada

http://www.specialolympics.ca/en/

Special Olympics International

http://specialolympics.org/

Special Olympics Ontario

http://www.specialolympicsontario.com/

 

MISSION STATEMENT

To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics promotes opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and develop skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes and the community.

Over the past 40 years Special Olympics has grown from a modest program serving local athletes to become the world’s largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion, and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities through sports.

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The purpose of this article is to bring attention and information of this great program that is available in most communities.  The benefits are great whether you are an athlete, coach, support staff or volunteer.  Your life will be enriched and forever changed.

Last summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer for the 2010 Special Olympics Summer Games held here in London, ON.  It was a time I’ll never forget!

London did an amazing job hosting and it showed in the faces and comments of the coaches, athletes and support staff.

The games created fun times and proud moments for the athletes, their teams and friends and family.  Many achieved goals, broke personal records and made new records for themselves and/or their teams.

Meeting so many wonderful people, athletes, coaches, support staff and other volunteers made this experience so amazing!  The athletes were the best!!

An Uncle of mine coaches a couple of the teams in Halifax.  When we have our family reunions they always consist of a softball game between the family and the athletes.  It’s something everyone looks forward to every year.  On top of that is a yearly BBQ my Uncle holds for them and many of the family are there to lend a hand in the preparations and happenings of the day.

There are 14 sports, and many Athletes do more than one!

http://info.specialolympicsontario.ca/programs-policies-procedures/14-sports

  • 5 Pin Bowling
  • 10 Pin Bowling
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Athletics (Track and Field)
  • Basketball
  • Bocce
  • Curling
  • Figure Skating
  • Floor Hockey
  • Golf
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Power-lifting
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Snowshoeing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Speed Skating
  • Swimming

There are Regional, Provincial, National and World Games held.  Provincial Games are held on a rotating basis over a four-year period.  National Games are held every 2 years on a rotating basis. Athletes are selected from national competition to advance to World Games also held every two years on a rotating winter and summer basis.

Listed below are links to the District sites for Special Olympics, followed by a link to find Special Olympic programs by Community.

 

Central Ontario District http://central.specialolympicsontario.ca/

Eastern Ontario District http://east.specialolympicsontario.ca/

GTA District Sitehttp://gta.specialolympicsontario.ca/

Northern Ontario District http://north.specialolympicsontario.ca/

South Central District http://southcentral.specialolympicsontario.ca/

South West District http://southwest.specialolympicsontario.ca/

 

Special Olympic Programs by Community – http://directory.specialolympicsontario.ca/Community-Programs/

 

 

Special Olympics are proud to be affiliated with The Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run.

http://www.torchrunontario.com/

The Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run is a community-based, province-wide event that sees the “Flame of Hope” carried across Ontario by members of law enforcement agencies from across the province.  The objective of this and other events is to raise funds for and awareness of the Special Olympics movement in Ontario.

The Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run is making a difference by raising funds for Special Olympics Ontario, and all funds raised are directed into community Special Olympics programs.  As well, the torch run involves law enforcement personnel in a community based, province wide program.  The torch run sets up community partnerships with sponsors, Special Olympics volunteers and local supporters, to reach a shared vision of helping athletes.

Special Olympics Ontario uses the funds raised to support three major initiatives:

  • Competition funding for communities hosting provincial and regional competitions, including travel and registration costs
  • Staff support, including SOO field staff
  • Support grants to new programs, competitions such as Hometown Games and programs in need, which amounts to approximately $250,000 per year

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The Special Olympics Programs are an amazing opportunity for youth and young adults to participate in a sport of their liking (some more than 1 or 2), make some great friendships, feel pride and accomplishment, attend some great social events, and enjoy new opportunities.

The joy and smiles on all of the Athletes faces is infectious and you can’t help but be taken in as you are surrounded by the warmth, happiness and pride!

Take a few moments to read some of the testimonials from the Athletes, coaches and family at the following link.

http://www.specialolympicsontario.com/default.asp?contentID=48

 

If you would like to become a volunteer for Special Olympics, here is where to start!

http://www.specialolympicsontario.com/default.asp?contentID=21

 

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/specialolympicsontario

Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/specialolympicson

 

A week of memories at the National Special Olympic Games!

Well, the National Special Olympics Games are now over.  It was a great week!  Many happy, smiling faces!

The opening ceremonies on Tuesday night went great and had some surprises for everyone!

I was one of the volunteers that was assigned to walk the British Columbia Team, following AB, into the ceremony.  AB lead first, leading teams from all the provinces.  Ontario came last and was escorted by the pipe band, it was an exciting time!

Our team of volunteers also helped seat a few of the other provinces as well.  Nova Scotia had blue noses!  Quebec has the fleur de lis on their cheeks! NWT looked sharp with their fedora type hats!  AB I believe, had ‘horse tails’ hanging from their hats.  Stringy ‘pom poms’ to mimic horse tails.  There were many other teams that had their own unique way of showing their proud provincial enthusiasm!!  Chants and shouts of pride and encouragement echoed throughout the evening!

The Games flag arrived by helicopter, then transferred to a tactical vehicle and raced into the stadium, where Don Cherry got out, accompanied by 3 London Knights hockey players.  He was escorted to the front where he handed over the flag to be raised for the games.  It was something to see AND hear, as all the athletes were so excited to see him and started chanting…’cher-ry! cher-ry! cher-ry!’  🙂

The last leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run came running in, followed by the Olympic Torch escorted by motorcycle officers.  100’s of law enforcement people took turns carrying the Torch across Canada to bring it here to London for the games.

One special Olympian, and I’m sorry her name escapes me at the moment, lit the Game cauldron to signal the official start of the games!

At the end of the ceremonies, the athletes were escorted out through a walkway of the Law Enforcement torch bearers.  High fives, welcomes, best wishes and good luck were abundant as they marched through!

At the Aquatic Centre, where the bulk of my shifts were, was a great team who worked well together!   Many of the coaches, mission staff and organizers were very pleased and impressed with how well we did.  Some said they had never seen it run so well and so smoothly.  It really helped the coaches alot, not having to worry about too much because we were always there with a smile, a helping hand, and had things running so wonderfully!  It was great to hear so many compliments.  We were just happy to be there and see the joy, smiles, high fives and how proud the athletes were!  Some of them broke personal best records!! 🙂

The closing ceremonies went well, even with a venue change a few hours before it was to begin.  Rain and threatening weather had made it necessary to move everything from TD Waterhouse Stadium to the Thompson Arena.  The volunteers and organizers were brilliant in getting everything moved and set up in time.

There was a brief moment of concern at one point, as to how we were going to fit all 1400 athletes, coaches and mission staff into the bleachers.  Family, supporters and friends were seated on the ‘ice’.  With the move happening so quickly and in such a short time, the attendance was phenomenal!!  More chairs were continually needing to be set up down below for the families etc…and many were still standing!!

With some maneuvering and moving about of teams, we finally had pretty much everyone seated! 🙂

The Western University Cheerleaders did some amazing ‘stunts’ and had the crowd clapping, cheering and excited!  During their warm up, they went into the bleachers as the athletes were being seated and got them rallying and chanting for their province!

The night was a huge success!!  The whole week was a grand success!!

Definitely a week of  meeting some great people from all across Canada, seeing the joy and pride on the athletes faces, as well as the coaches and mission staff….and our faces too!! 🙂

A week of wonderful memories!!  I look forward to more!!