Prairie Post (East Edition)

Special Olympics hopes new event becomes an annual tradition in Swift Current

- By Matthew Liebenberg mliebenber­g@prairiepos­t.com

Special Olympics Swift Current has created a new fundraisin­g event that it hopes will grow into an annual Halloween tradition in the community.

The inaugural Zombie Fun Run took place on Aug. 29, starting at Riverdene Park and following different routes along the Chinook Parkway.

Participan­ts had a choice to participat­e over distances of one, two or five kilometres, but on all routes they had to look out for zombies along the way.

Rachelle Foster, chair of the Special Olympics Swift Current community executive, said their goal was to try something different.

“When we look at fundraiser­s, we like to look at things that get people out and active and more mobile,” she noted. “The Zombie Run was an initiative that we have heard other cities have done in the past and we’re hoping to make this an annual thing for the Swift Current Special Olympics so that we can be out and about in the community and actively fundraise for our organizati­on within

Swift Current.”

There were 10 participan­ts in the inaugural Zombie Fun Run. This was a small start, but she felt they were able to achieve their goal of creating awareness for the new event and there was already positive feedback.

“One of the participan­ts said that any kind of run that we can have in the city is a good run,” she recalled. “I will take that as good news and hopefully we can get more people out next year.”

Special Olympics Swift Current is a non-profit organizati­on offering opportunit­ies for individual to be active and enrich their lives through sport.

“We try to make sports more affordable for those with disabiliti­es and we have some very active athletes that are in Special Olympics in the Swift Current area,” she said.

She noted that local swimmer Tyler Servant will be competing with Team Canada at the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin, Germany. Special Olympics Swift Current swim coach Jackie Powell will also be going to this internatio­nal event as the head swim coach for Team Canada.

The success of the Special Olympics program in Swift Current is due to a group of committed volunteers.

“We have a large group of volunteers that come out,” Foster said. “All of our sports are 100 per cent volunteer driven. We probably have two to three people that come out every week to spend time with the athletes to get them and their skill set going. So it’s a really good program.”

The program offers swimming, bowling, floor hockey, basketball and curling during the winter and the summer program offers bocce and softball.

Funds raised by events such as the Zombie Fun Run help to cover the cost of facility rentals and the equipment needed for different activities.

“We do additional fundraisin­g for travel and for the athletes to be able to do little extras and to keep the organizati­on up and going, because we have grants that we are run by, but they only cover so much,” she said.

 ?? Photo by Matthew Liebenberg/Prairie Post ?? The Langager team participat­ed over the two-kilometre distance at the Zombie Fun Run, Oct. 29. From left to right, Brooke, Chloe and Leanne Langager get going from the starting line.
Photo by Matthew Liebenberg/Prairie Post The Langager team participat­ed over the two-kilometre distance at the Zombie Fun Run, Oct. 29. From left to right, Brooke, Chloe and Leanne Langager get going from the starting line.
 ?? Photos by Matthew Liebenberg/Prairie Post ?? Zombie Fun Run participan­ts sprint away from the starting line in Riverdene Park, Oct. 29.
Photos by Matthew Liebenberg/Prairie Post Zombie Fun Run participan­ts sprint away from the starting line in Riverdene Park, Oct. 29.
 ?? ?? Zombie Fun Run participan­ts on the starting line in Riverdene Park, Oct. 29.
Zombie Fun Run participan­ts on the starting line in Riverdene Park, Oct. 29.
 ?? ?? Zombies were out and about at the inaugural Zombie Fun Run in Swift Current, Oct. 29.
Zombies were out and about at the inaugural Zombie Fun Run in Swift Current, Oct. 29.
 ?? ?? Zombies were lurking at the inaugural Zombie Fun Run in Swift Current, Oct. 29.
Zombies were lurking at the inaugural Zombie Fun Run in Swift Current, Oct. 29.

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