Victoria Special Olympics athletes have returned to training to prepare for their fall / winter sport regional competitions. Over 200 athletes have registered to participate in swimming, speed skating, figure skating, floor hockey, basketball, 5 and 10 pin bowling, snowshoeing, curling, rhythmic gymnastics and our fitness programs – Athletic Club, Club Fit and FUNdamentals (ages 7-11). Athletes are supported by close to 200 volunteers.
This is an important season for one Victoria athlete in particular – alpine skier Michael Langridge – who has been selected to represent Canada at the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 in Austria. Langridge was named to team Canada after his gold medal winning performance at the National Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland earlier this year.
Langridge wasn’t the only Victoria athlete to bring back medals from those games. Medals were also won by Terri Carelius (Silver and Bronze), Patrick Campbell (Gold and Bronze), and Krista Melkle (Bronze) in snowshoeing; and by Sarah Maxwell (two Bronze) and Mark Hamblett (Gold and Silver) in speed skating.
Hamblett unfortunately will have to take some time off this season, after breaking his leg at the finish line after running in the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon earlier this month. In addition to speed skating, Hamblett participates in floor hockey, track and field, softball, soccer and Club Fit. Hamblett has maintained an extremely positive attitude since the accident, saying this setback will not cause him to give up:
“this will not be my last marathon, it does not discourage me, I will be back when I’m healed and allowed back to training”
Hamblett is one of many athletes with inspiring stories – like swimmer Aly White who this summer completed a 10K open water swim at Lake Cowichan in just over 4 hours. Prior to that, White attended the BC Summer Games where she swept all of her events, winning nine gold medals. White will join 10 other Victoria Special Olympics swimmers at the regional competition in Vancouver in February.
This season also marks the first time the Special Olympics FUNdamentals program has been incorporated into the PE curriculum for Shoreline Community Middle School students. The program is being led by Learning Support Teacher / Classroom Teacher Lisa Kittmer for Shoreline’s Middle School Integration Program.
The fall / winter sport schedule is listed below. Media are invited to attend practices. To arrange a visit please contact Public Relations Coordinator Andrea Boyes at the number listed below.
Basketball – Mondays – 7-9 PM – Arbutus Middle School
Floor Hockey – Mondays – 6-8 PM – Ecole Brodeur
Rhythmic Gymnastics – Mondays – 6-8 PM – Cedar Hill Middle School
FUNdamentals – Tuesdays – 6-7 PM – Doncaster Elementary
5-Pin Bowling – Tuesdays – 5-6:30 PM – Miracle Lanes (Sidney)
Speed Skating – Tuesdays – 6-6:40 PM and Thursdays 5-5:40 PM – Archie Browning Arena
10-Pin Bowling – Wednesdays – 3:30-5 PM – Langford Lanes
Club Fit – Wednesdays – 7-8 PM – Ecole Brodeur
Snowshoeing – Wednesdays – 6-7 PM – Ecole Brodeur
Athletic Club – Thursdays – 6:30-8 PM – Quadra Elementary
Curling – Thursdays – 4-5:30 PM – Victoria Curling Club
Swimming – Thursdays – 6-7 PM – Crystal Pool
Figure Skating – Saturdays – 11-12:30 PM – Oak Bay Arena