Manitoulin Special Olympics athletes qualify for world championships

Enjoying the expanded trails! Thanks to a partnership project of Community Living Association and Manitoulin Special Olympics, snowshoe and ski trails used by MSO athletes and residents of Maple Ridge in Mindemoya have been expanded. In photo, left to right, is Josh Marsland, Yashua Marsland, Janet Anning, Meghan Holtze, Dayne Tipper and Matthew Bedard. In front is Kelsey Mellan, left, in photo, and Judy Olacke.

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin Special Olympics team took part in several events over the past week, and at the same time big announcements have been made concerning major competitions local athletes have been chosen to take part in.

“We received an email from Special Olympics Canada that two of our athletes, Kelsey Mellan and Matthew Bedard, have been chosen for the (Team Canada) snowshoeing team to take part in the world championships being held in Austria in 2017,” stated Janet Anning, MSO coordinator and coach. “This is great news and they both deserve to be going.”

At the Canada National Special Olympic Winter Games held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland earlier this year, Matthew Bedard garnered three gold medals in the 1,600 metre, 800 metre and 400 metre races. Kelsey Mellan garnered two gold medals in the 100 and 200 metre races.

As well, Ms. Anning noted that MSO athletes Yuri Clayton and Roger Howard will be competing in the provincial spring games in five pin bowling in Guelph.

This past weekend in Sudbury, MSO bowlers took part in the North East region competition held at Plaza Lanes in Sudbury, with great results. “We had a total of 21 bowlers take part, with three of our athletes getting first place, and we had two seconds and five third place finishes.”

MSO athletes who brought home first place medals included John Hopkins, Roger Howard and Arthur Haines. Rachelle Bergeron and Travis Tiche both finished in second place in their divisions, while finishing third in their divisions were Kelsey Barss, Bruce Van Horn, Elizabeth Murphy, Mikki Johnstone and Clarissa Moggy.

“All our bowlers came away with ribbons and everyone bowled well,” said Ms. Anning. “And everyone enjoyed the dinner and dancing afterwards and socializing with other athletes and coaches.”

On Wednesday of last week, MSO athletes and coaches took part in the annual OPP Law Enforcement Torch Run held in Mindemoya. “OPP officer Rene Lalonde was in charge of the event and there were about 40 of us altogether taking part, including about law enforcement people OPP officers, UCCM Anishinaabe Police Officers, MSO athletes and coaches,” said MSO Coach Roslyn Taylor.

“The police hold other fundraising events throughout the year to raise funds for Special Olympics teams going to provincials. We owe them a big thanks for all their support,” said Ms. Taylor.

Participants started out at the parking lot at the Mindemoya Community Centre and travelled through the downtown area and past Central Manitoulin Public School, who also took part in the Torch Run and cheered on the MSO athletes and police officers.

Ms. Taylor also reported on the MSO floor hockey team’s participation in the London Invitational Floor Hockey tournament held recently. “All the players received medals,” she told the Recorder.

Members of the KGHMI Sudbury/Manitoulin Miners Blue team  included local players  Tyler Madahbee, Dylan Danville, and Andrew Splawnyk, and the team finished in first place. 

“The white team had a total of 15 players, with the blue team having 14 players,” said Ms. Taylor. She explained, “there were 16 teams in total take part, (white team had three teams in its division, with the blue having four teams in their division. There were teams from London (three teams), Peterborough (two teams), Simcoe (two teams), Hamilton, Chatham, Guelph, LaSalle, St. Thomas and Burlington all had one team; Sudbury/Manitoulin had two teams.”

“The blue team won two games and tied one in single round robin play to finish in first place,” said Ms. Taylor.

The white team won one game and dropped two in double round robin play to finish in third in their division. The white team included MSO athletes Yuri Clayton, Dayne Tipper, Brock Case, Bruce Vanhorn, Arthur Haines, and coaches Dr. Bill Studzienny, Roslyn Taylor, Sean and Katherine Tipper, and Wanda Clayton. Missing from the tournament but members of the team include Jamie Pyette, David Gagne and coach Myles Clayton.