Supporters aim to raise $50,000 to mark 50th anniversary of Special Olympics

The 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics movement is approaching, snd supporters are looking to raise $50,000 across the province to mark the day.
The Barrie Police Service is raising awareness of the celebration, and in support of local high school athletes who are competing at the inaugural 2019 Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games (IYG).
With other longstanding supporters such as the Knights of Columbus, communities are hosting a flag raising ceremony, send-off celebration and raising awareness of the Draft an Athlete campaign to help successfully draft local athletes who will be competing on the world stage May 14-17 in Toronto.
“This will be the first time that athletes with an intellectual disability will represent their community and school on an international stage. Your support is helping fulfill a dream and help make friendships and memories that last a lifetime,” Deputy Chief Ken Weatherill is quoted saying.
The local schools that have qualified to date for these games are Ecole secondaire catholique Nouvell-Alliance, which will be competing in traditional soccer, and St. Joseph’s Catholic High School, which will be competing in athletics.
The provincial goal across all 50 celebrating communities is to raise $50,000 to go towards the Draft an Athlete campaign. Every $1,000 raised drafts an athlete competing at the games with 100 per cent of the contribution helping to fund travel, accommodation, food and competition costs.
The IYG are among several events marking the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics worldwide. These games will break new ground, hosting athletes with and without intellectual disabilities who will compete against and alongside each other.
Qualifying is actively underway and will continue through to April in time for the games. Campaign organizers estimate the final draft will include over 200 teams and 300 individual athletes from across Canada, the United States and elsewhere.
All sports will offer two types of team divisions: a traditional division (in which all athletes on the team have an intellectual disability), and a unified division (in which athletes with and without an intellectual disability will have the opportunity to compete on the same team).