Manitoulin Special Olympics hosts successful tournament

Members of the Manitoulin Wolverines and the Manitoulin Knight Riders take part in the opening ceremonies of an Ontario Special Olympics (OSO) regional softball tournament hosted by Manitoulin Special Olympics this past weekend in Mindemoya

MINDEMOYA—Despite the rainy weather that delayed the start of games on Saturday, the Manitoulin Special Olympics (MSO) hosted a very successful regional Ontario Special Olympics (OSO) softball tournament this past Friday-Saturday at the refurbished Mindemoya baseball fields.

“I would like to welcome everyone to the annual tournament this year,” said Janet Anning, MSO coordinator and coach, at the official opening of the tournament, Saturday morning. “It has been about 10 years now that we have hosted this annual tournament.”
While all the teams in the tournament stood in a row on the infield, MSO athlete Bruce VanHorn delivered the Special Olympics motto, “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

MSO coach Wendy Graham and Harmony Panamick then led everyone in the singing of “O’ Canada.”

Greg Lockeyer, a volunteer for MSO who worked as the scoreboard operator for the tournament, threw the ceremonial first pitch to MSO athlete Andrew Splawanyck.

Ms. Anning noted, “Greg (Lockeyer) does all the scheduling for the tournament every year. We can’t thank him enough for this. Mindemoya has these two newly renovated fields here, thanks to Greg and his assistants in applying for the funding grants and much of the work.”
Ms. Anning also acknowledged the efforts of Joellen Sloss and her assistants’ staff in manning the food booth during the weekend, as well as all those volunteers who helped out with the breakfast Saturday morning and the dinner Saturday night; Lew Lanktree who helped prepare the ballfields for the games; Bruce Wiggins who has volunteered as an umpire from the very beginning, along with Frank Haner and Cindy Ramage who helped to umpire at the last moment; Gayle Payette who  helped umpire a couple of games; and all the kitchen people who helped prepare the lunches and suppers.”

The tournament itself drew teams from North Bay, Timmins and Sudbury. In the Dodgers division, B level there were two teams from North Bay and Timmins #2, while in the Yankees C  level, there was the Manitoulin Wolverines, North.

Manitoulin Special Olympics athlete Bruce
VanHorn takes a mighty swing.

At the conclusion of the soggy tournament in the Dodgers division, Timmins Diggers #2 defeated North Bay winning their best two of three series to take first place. In the Yankees Division, a round robin format,  the Sudbury Roadrunners took first place with the Manitoulin Wolverines in second. Taking third was North Bay while fourth place went to the Timmins Gunners #1. In the Blue Jays t-ball division, the Sudbury Coyotes took first place with the Manitoulin Knight Riders second and the Sudbury Coyotes third.