North Islanders wanted for Olympian effort

Special Olympics BC is hoping to open its latest chapter on the North Island, but locals are needed to help lay the foundations.

PORT HARDY—The call is going out for North Islanders to get involved with some special people.

Special Olympics BC is hoping to open its latest chapter on the North Island, but locals are needed to help lay the foundations.

Around 20 residents came out to an informational meeting Sunday at the Civic Centre, where Community Development Manager Bobby Debrone and local coordinator Anita Brennan outlined the vision for the Mount Waddington chapter.

Debrone explained the first step would be to form an executive committee to oversee development and coordinate with the regional and national branches of the organization.

The executive would then reach out to athletes, coaches and volunteers to take part in some of the Special Olympic programs. Currently, 18 sports are included across B.C.’s summer and winter programs, including basketball, bowling, soccer, curling and snowshoeing.

The mission of the organization is to enrich the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport. More than 4,000 athletes are registered with the Special Olympics in B.C.

Debrone explained that all those involved with the Special Olympics — from executive members to coaches and athletes — are supported by the provincial organization. Coaches are expected to work toward accreditation, gaining valuable tools which in turn benefit the athletes through recognized coaching strategies.

Special Olympics BC will work with local chapters to provide training locally or to help pay any travel expenses.

Once programs are established on the North Island, athletes would compete in local competitions, with opportunities to take part in provincial, national and even international events.

Currently, the closest chapter is in Campbell River and organizers are looking for locals to step up and help form a North Island chapter for athletes in the Tri-port communities, Alert Bay, Coal Harbour, Sointula and Woss.

Executive roles required include treasurer, secretary, public relations, and fundraising coordinator. If you have an interest in any of these roles, in coaching or volunteering, or to sign up an athlete, contact Anita Brennan at 250-230-9005.

For more information check out the group’s Facebook page: Special Olympics BC-Mt. Waddington or go to www.specialolympics.bc.ca.