Special Olympics Airdrie wraps up successful season
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 12:38 pm
The 2013/14 season for Special Olympics Airdrie will go down as the most successful yet, according to the organization. To celebrate the success, the group held its second annual awards barbeque at the Living Springs Christian Fellowship Church on August 17.
During the course of a 12-month period which began in September 2013, the total number of athletes that took part in Special Olympics sports in Airdrie went up from 55 to 78, while the number of volunteers rose from 30 to 51.
In addition to the increase in numbers, three new sports - athletics, snowshoeing, and golf - were added to the list of activities for local Special Olympians to take part in. Previously, Special Olympics sports only included: bocce, soccer, softball, floor hockey, swimming and bowling.
“We like to have an increase (in athletes) of about five to ten percent each year, so we were obviously happy to see a jump in numbers here,” Special Olympics Airdrie Chairman Dale Foreman said. “Our main goal is to give our athletes a chance to take part in activities they may not have the chance to do, and to have them be involved in things in our community is great to see.”
“It’s been a wonderful year for everyone, and to have the banquet like this is a good way to recognize everyone for all that they do, whether they are an athlete or a volunteer,” he added.
The major award winner of the afternoon was 32-year-old Sean Moore of Airdrie, who received the Heart Award, which was established last year in memory of his father and former swimming coach Dana Moore, who passed away from a heart attack in 2011.
“I certainly wasn’t expecting to win the award, and it was a big surprise for me when I heard my name being called,” Moore said.
“Our lives basically revolve around Special Olympics, so for Sean to get a plaque that was put up in honour of his dad is really special,” Sean’s mother Heather Gunn added.
Moore keeps himself busy with sports throughout the year with Special Olympics Airdrie, as he takes part in bocce, golf and softball in the summer, along with floor hockey and bowling in the winter.
“I just like to stay active, and there’s always something for me to do during the summer and the winter,” Moore said. “I just like to keep busy with my friends, and that’s probably what I enjoy the most about being involved with Special Olympics Airdrie.”
“Not only has Sean shown a lot of improvement over the past year, but he’s become a real leader and mentor to our younger athletes,” Foreman added. “That’s why the coaches and the executive committee selected him as our Heart Award winner this year.”
Other award winners during the year-end banquet were:
Andrea Peters (sportsmanship – bowling)
Christian Skelley (most improved - bowling)
Katie Foreman (sportsmanship – floor hockey)
Alex Hearns (most improved – floor hockey)
Elias Huery (sportsmanship - swimming)
Ian Lowther (most improved – swimming)
Tyson Biever (sportsmanship – bocce)
Conner McDermott (most improved – bocce)
Bailey Minhinnett (sportsmanship – novice softball)
Charles Forget (sportsmanship – intermediate softball)
Dallan Ellerby (most improved – intermediate softball)
Aaron Van Decker (sportsmanship – soccer)
Noah Van Dewark (most improved – soccer)
The 2014-15 Special Olympics season will get underway on September 4 and 9 with its winter sports registration nights at Cam Clark Ford from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
For more information about the registration, contact Special Olympics Airdrie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.