Manitoulin Special Olympians are a great success story

Volunteers will soon come calling seeking sponsors for this great local event

To the Expositor:

One of the greatest success stories in sport is happening right here at home. Manitoulin Special Olympics athletes have won two gold and three silver medals in World Special Olympics competition. Five of our athletes have currently made it on to Team Ontario and will be representing Ontario at the National Games in Vancouver this coming July. Very few communities across Canada can boast these kinds of results. Team Canada will be picked from the National games.

Special Olympics competition at these levels is not to be taken lightly. When we were in Athens, Greece attending the World Competition in 2011, we saw 7,500 athletes from all over the world competing. Sixty-five thousand spectators came to the opening ceremonies. It was the largest sporting event in the world that year.

The success of our program is two-fold. First, our athletes now know what can be achieved by extreme dedication and hard work. Second, Bluegrass in the Country, which is our main fundraiser, gives our local athletes the resources necessary to go on and train and compete with worldclass athletes. All of our athletes have a chance to learn a sport and enter a competition. Whether they win or lose ‘let them be brave in the attempt.’

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who help us out with Bluegrass in the Country. Thanks to our sponsors, our ticket buyers, and to our performers, all of whom perform for us at way below market value just to help out the cause. Bluegrass in the Country receives no government assistance of any kind. We depend only on you, the people of Manitoulin, and on our visitors who come from off-Island. The first year of our show we had eight off-Island trailers. Last year we had over 60. As the show continues to grow the lineup gets better and better. Many top name groups have heard of “the show on Manitoulin” and want to come and be part of this great fun filled weekend.

In the coming weeks our volunteers will be making the rounds to see if you would like your name to be included as a sponsor for this great local event that supports our local Special Olympics Athletes. The Special Olympics committee thanks you in advance. We can’t wait to show you what we have lined up this year June 6, 7 and 8 in Providence Bay.

John Featherstone