Scene set­ter

Two ath­letes, mis­sion staff mem­ber from P.E.I. part of Team Canada

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JASON SIM­MONDS

Three Is­lan­ders are in Los An­ge­les for the Spe­cial Olympics World Games, which be­gin Satur­day.

Three Prince Ed­ward Is­lan­ders have ar­rived in Los An­ge­les for the Spe­cial Olympics World Games.

Spe­cial Olympics P.E.I. ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Char­ity Shee­han of Cove­head is a mem­ber of Team Canada’s mis­sion staff for ath­let­ics, and ath­letes John Paynter of Free­town and Jenna Smith of Eller­slie will com­pete from Satur­day to Aug. 2. Paynter will com­pete in ath­let­ics while Smith’s sport is ten­pin bowl­ing.

“Both Jenna and John have been mem­bers of Spe­cial Olympics P.E.I. for a num­ber of years,” said Shee­han. “They both have strong work ethics when it comes to be­ing pre­pared. . .

“From sign­ing their con­tracts from the first day I met with them, at­tend­ing train­ing camps, work­ing out, to be­ing in­ter­viewed by lo­cal media or even a lit­tle seg­ment on the Rick Mercer Re­port, Jenna and John have em­braced this ex­pe­ri­ence to its fullest.”

Smith and Paynter were se­lected for Team Canada af­ter strong per­for­mances – each won three medals – at the 2014 Spe­cial Olympics Canada Na­tional Sum­mer Games in Van­cou­ver.

“There is a point sys­tem for in­di­vid­ual sports,” ex­plained Shee­han. “You get so many for a gold, so many for sil­ver, so many for bronze.

“It goes through all the se­lec­tion cri­te­ria. It’s a bit com­pli­cated, but ba­si­cally they got there on their own merit based on the re­sults they had in Van­cou­ver.”

Shee­han pointed out it’s a sig­nif­i­cant ac­com­plish­ment to be se­lected for Team Canada’s ros­ter.

“There were over 1,200 ath­letes that were there (in Van­cou­ver), and around 115 (Cana­dian) ath­letes are go­ing to World Games,” she said. “On the World Games stage, there are 7,000 ath­letes. The chances and odds are not re­ally great, you have to have re­ally good per­for­mances.”

Shee­han will be at­tend­ing her third Spe­cial Olympics World Games, but this will be her first sum­mer com­pe­ti­tion. She was a mis­sion staff mem­ber with Canada’s snowshoeing teams at the World Win­ter Games in Nagano, Ja­pan, in 1995 and South Korea in 2013.

So, what role will Shee­han have as a mis­sion staff mem­ber?

“The sim­plest job de­scrip­tion is ev­ery­thing but coach­ing,” an­swered Shee­han. “It’s very lo­gis­ti­cal based, mak­ing sure our coaches have what they need to do the job they are there to do.”

JASON SIM­MONDS/TC MEDIA

Spe­cial Olympics P.E.I. ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Char­ity Shee­han is a mis­sion staff mem­ber for Team Canada at the Spe­cial Olympics World Games in Los An­ge­les.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTOS

John Paynter, above, and Jenna Smith, be­low, are in Los An­ge­les rep­re­sent­ing Prince Ed­ward Is­land at the Spe­cial Olympics World Games.

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