Tri-con ath­letes make big splash

Pro­vin­cial Spe­cial Olympics swim­ming cham­pi­onships held in Stephenville

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

Four ath­letes from Tri-Con Spe­cial Olympics made a big splash at the 2011 Spe­cial Olympics New­found­land and Labrador Track and Swim­ming cham­pi­onships, bring­ing home 19 medals. The event took place June 24-26 in Stephenville. Mar­sha But­ton, Shawn Daw­son, Eleanor Hobbs and Me­lanie Peach won their medals in the swim­ming competition.

But­ton won gold medals for first place in the 25-me­tre and 50-me­tre freestyle events. She also picked up a sil­ver medal for sec­ond place in the 25-me­tre breast­stroke, and a bronze for third place in the 25-me­tre back crawl.

Shawn Daw­son won gold medals for first place in 100m back­stroke, 100-m freestyle, and 50-m back­stroke. Daw­son also won sil­ver medals for plac­ing sec­ond in 100m breast­stroke and 200-m freestyle.

Eleanor Hobbs won gold medals for first place in the 25-m freestyle, 50-m freestyle, 25-m but­ter­fly and 25-m back crawl. Hobbs also placed third in 25-m breast­stroke, which earned her a bronze medal.

Me­lanie Peach took sil­ver medals for sec­ond place in 50-m breast­stroke, 25-m freestyle and 25-m back­stroke. She also earned bronze medals for third place fin­ishes in 50-m freestyle and 50-m back crawl.

Over 160 coaches and mis­sion staff from 10 dif­fer­ent com­mu­nity-based clubs around the prov­ince were in Stephenville for the first pro­vin­cial sport cham­pi­onships in the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s his­tory to be hosted by Bay St. Ge­orge, the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s new­est club.

Nel­son White, Spe­cial Olympics New­found­land and Labrador’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, de­scribed the pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onships as, “our mar­quee events that mark the cul­mi­na­tion of the year for our com­mu­nity-based clubs across the prov­ince.” About Spe­cial Olympics Spe­cial Olympics New­found­land and Labrador is ded­i­cated to en­rich­ing the lives of New­found­lan­ders and Labrado­ri­ans with an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity through sport.

The pro­vin­cial not-for-profit grass­roots or­ga­ni­za­tion pro­vides sport train­ing and competition op­por­tu­ni­ties for over 570 ath­letes of all ages and abil­i­ties. There are cur­rently 13 com­mu­nity-based clubs of­fer­ing sport pro­grams.

Through sport, Spe­cial Olympics of­fers ath­letes and fam­i­lies a sense of achieve­ment and an op­por­tu­nity to ex­cel as they take on lead­er­ship roles within their com­mu­nity.

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