MINDEMOYA—It was an awesome sight in downtown Mindemoya last Friday morning, as Manitoulin Special Olympic athletes and coaches walked alongside students of Central Manitoulin Public School led by piper Iain McGale (a Manitoulin Island conservation officer with the Ministry of Natural Resources) and a Manitoulin Ontario Provincial Police car being driven by Constable Steve Redmond, leading all the OPP officers on and off-Island in the annual OPP Law Enforcement Torch Run.
“I would like to thank everyone for coming out and participating the Torch Run,” stated Constable Marie Ford, Community Services Officer with the Manitoulin OPP following the conclusion of the Run at the Mindemoya OPP detachment building. “Thank you very much for CMPS students cheering everyone and participating in the run.”
“Thank everyone for coming out, this is an important day to celebrate the athletes of Manitoulin Special Olympics,” stated Constable Ford, “their amazing strength and determination.”
“It is so terrific to see how the Torch Run has grown over the past few years,” said Janet Anning, MSO coordinator. “It’s so awesome that CMPS has been involved.”
Ms. Anning noted, “the Torch Run is so important to Special Olympics Ontario and the annual provincial games would not take place without the support this event provides. We couldn’t do this without the officers that take part in this run throughout the province.”
“When athletes join our team we want them to have fun,” said Ms. Anning, she said, noting that MSO has many sports athletes can participate in. Anyone who wants to join can call me or one of our volunteers and we will be able to get you involved in our sports.”
Ms. Anning noted local athletes can qualify from regional games to provincial, national and even to world competitions.
“We have amazing volunteers as well as athletes,” said MSO coach Katherine Tipper.
At the event MSO athlete Matthew Bedard presented the Special Olympics oath. “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” He is preparing for the national Special Olympic Games in Halifax along with Kelsey Mellan, Austin Featherstone and Mark Dokum. “Through my years of Special Olympics I can tell you it has been a great experience and you meet so many amazing people.”