P.E.I. sending large contingent to Special Olympics Summer Games

Jason Simmonds
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SUMMERSIDE — Months of hard work and preparation by Special Olympians across the country will be realized next week.

The Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games will take place in Vancouver, B.C., from July 8 to 12, and serve as a qualifier for the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles.

“They are such an amazing experience,” said Special Olympics P.E.I. executive director and Team P.E.I. chef de mission Charity Sheehan. “When we have new coaches come on our team I try to explain what is going to happen. But it’s one of those things you have to experience, and everybody experiences it so differently.

“The little things that happen, the funny stories, the moving moments that happen throughout the Games are unbelievably incredible.”

P.E.I. will send its largest-ever team to a Special Olympics Canada competition. The 61-member contingent consists of 43 athletes, 13 coaches and five mission staff.

“We are super excited about this team,” said Sheehan. “Our team is literally from tip to tip.”

 

Different sports

Team P.E.I., which is scheduled to leave on Sunday, will compete in eight different sports — tenpin bowling, fivepin bowling, athletics, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and powerlifting.

This is the first time golf and powerlifting will be part of the National Summer Games, and soccer is returning for the first time since 2002. Sheehan coached Team P.E.I.’s soccer team that year.

“The soccer team was just a phenomenal group of individuals,” explained Sheehan. “We were in such a tough, tough division, but all they could do is thank you.

“You were feeling bad because they didn’t win or get to where you thought they might get, but they were just so unbelievably grateful for what you did. Those are some of the moments I carry with me, and make Special Olympics so near and dear to my heart.”

 

Rosters

The Team P.E.I. rosters were selected a year ago. From there, all of the team members entered into a provincial team-training program.

“It’s like a training contract,” said Sheehan. “They had to compete and train a certain number days a week. They had to train three days a week, and had different competitions throughout the year as well as focusing on nutritional training, sport sciences and things like that.

“All the team members have been on board right from the beginning, and have been working really hard with our coaches and some other outside influences. They are all getting really excited because we are less than a week away.

“They are looking forward to competing next week, and put all that preparation into action.”

Sheehan said one misconception is that Special Olympians do not care if they win or lose.

“We absolutely have athletes like that on the team, but if you talk to some other athletes they care, they care a whole lot,” she said. “They want to do very well.”

Team P.E.I.

Team P.E.I. roster for Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games:

 

Tenpin Bowling

Wayne Dyment, Summerside

Paul Phillips, Summerside

Kevin Ramsay, Tyne Valley

Jenna Smith, Ellerslie-Bideford

Coach: Ann Kilby, Tyne Valley

 

Fivepin Bowling

Caitlyn Barlow, Kensington

Jo-Anne Doiron, Souris

Jennifer Hickox, Charlottetown

Bobbie-Jean MacEachern, Charlottetown

Donna Pyke, Charlottetown

Coach: Ricky Burns, Charlottetown

 

Athletics

Terri Cudmore, Charlottetown

John Paynter, Freetown

Jamie Trowsdale, Charlottetown

Jeremy Wall, Summerside

Coach: Jodi Harper, Harrington

 

Golf

Heidi Mallett, Alberton

Coach: Jamie Matheson, Montague

 

Soccer

Scott Brousseau, Montague

Rhonda Fall, Georgetown

James Larter, Georgetown

Jason MacCormack, Belfast

Sarah MacDonald, Little Pond

Shelby McInnis, Souris

Alan Murray, Souris

John Rafuse, Montague

Callie Wood, Montague

Alyssa Chapman, Murray Harbour

Coaches: Kyle McGuirk, Vernon River; Lori Byers, Montague; Terry Nabuurs, Cardigan

 

Softball

Billy Acorn, Brackley

Jerred Affleck, York

Glendon Arsenault, Summerside

Lisa Bernard, Charlottetown

Cedric Gallant, Charlottetown

John Anthony Laybolt, Charlottetown

Tommy MacGuigan, Charlottetown

Wallace MacMaster, Charlottetown

Chris MacPherson, Charlottetown

Derek McDonald, Bonshaw

Brian McNab, Charlottetown

Shawn Mitchell, Charlottetown

Aaron Myers, Charlottetown

Greg St. John, Charlottetown

Coaches: Allan Stewart, Hunter River; Jamie Henry, Charlottetown; Richard Douillette, Charlottetown;

Judy Gallant, Charlottetown

 

Swimming

Sarah Halman, Charlottetown

Ellen MacNearney, Montague

Roy Paynter, Kensington

Amie Sullivan, Lower Montague

Coach: Sarah Paynter, Kensington

 

Powerlifting

Kolton Doucette, Wellington

Coach: Ross MacIntosh, Westville, N.S.

 

Chef-de-Mission

Charity Sheehan, Covehead

 

Team Manager

Genna Phelan, Charlottetown

 

Mission Staff

CY Holland, Stratford

Janet Bradshaw, Summerside

Michele Chapman, Murray Harbour

Organizations: Special Olympics Canada, Special Olympics P.E.I.

Geographic location: Vancouver, B.C., Los Angeles, Charlottetown Vernon River Hunter River Murray Harbour

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