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Special Olympics Athlete of the Month adapting quickly to new sport

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 10:28 am

Bailey Minhinnett prepared to take  her shot during a Special Olympics Airdrie bocce game at Nose Creek Park on July 14.
Bailey Minhinnett prepared to take her shot during a Special Olympics Airdrie bocce game at Nose Creek Park on July 14.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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Having bowled with Special Olympics Airdrie for the last two winters, moving over to bocce in the summer seemed like the perfect fit for Bailey Minhinnett.

The 11-year-old from Balzac, who is the Special Olympics Airdrie Athlete of the Month for July, has taken a quick liking to her new athletic activity, which takes place at Nose Creek Park every Monday night.

“I love throwing the ball and trying to get to be the closest, and being outside is really nice as well,” Minhinnett said.

“It reminds me a lot of bowling, except that I get to knock the pins down there, and you can’t really do anything like that in bocce.”

“Bailey’s a real natural when it comes to bocce, and I think playing bowling with Special Olympics Airdrie helps out a lot with that,” Bocce Coach Clayton Hardy added. “She comes in every week with a smile on her face to lighten everyone’s mood up, and she makes a lot of great shots as well.”

In addition to bocce and bowling, Minhinnett keeps herself busy with two other team sports, as she plays floor hockey during the winter and softball during the summer.

“I’ve been in a couple of tournaments for softball, and I’m actually going to Olds for a tournament this weekend (July 19),” Minhinnett said.

“I get to meet a lot of new friends when I play out of town, which is nice.”

“Bailey’s never batted an eye or stepped back because she’s shy to meeting new people or trying new sports,” Minhinnett’s mom Mandy added. “She welcomes everyone with open arms, and when it comes to trying something that’s different, she jumps right in.”

For more information on Special Olympics Airdrie, visit


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