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Caledon Special Olympics athletes take home silver medal at basketball tourney




Athletes also participated in a swim meet this past weekend

By Zachary Roman

It's been an exciting spring for Caledon's Special Olympics athletes.

On the weekend of April 22 and 23, they competed in a basketball tournament in Durham Region. On the weekend of April 29 and 30, they competed in a swim meet in Brampton.

Eduarda (Eddie) Domingues, Athlete Administrator for Special Olympics Caledon, who has been volunteering with Special Olympics for over 15 years, has a daughter, Kristen, an accomplished athlete in multiple disciplines.

Domingues said there are 14 athletes who were registered to play basketball this year, and 10 of them attended the tournament in Durham. Of those 10 athletes, four of them had never participated in a basketball tournament before.

It was amazing to see the mentorship from the experienced basketball players to the newer players, said Domingues. The Special Olympics Caledon team ended up winning a silver medal in their division.

“For some of them, the first time going to a tournament, it's unbelievable the excitement,” said Domingues. “It's about the friendships… when they go to these tournaments (the athletes) make friends within their community.”

On April 29, Special Olympics Caledon athletes attended a provincial qualifier swimming event in Brampton. Eleven athletes took part in the meet, and again for three athletes, it was their first time ever competing in a swim meet.

“There was a lot of excitement, and some nerves too,” said Domingues. There were teams of athletes from Mississauga, North York, and Toronto at the tournament swimming alongside the athletes from Caledon.

“We were swimming from about 3:30 to 9, 9:30 p.m., so there were lots of races,” said Domingues.

When they weren't swimming, all the Caledon athletes would sit together in a group and cheer each other on. Domingues said there was one athlete on the team who, when he first came out to swimming, didn't talk much. However, at the tournament, he was talking to everyone.

“He was chatting with some of his buddies, the other athletes on the team,” said Domingues. “As a coach it's amazing to see and…what brings joy to me is to see these athletes come out of their shell. It's amazing to see the difference from the beginning when he first started to now.”

Special Olympics Caledon will now be moving into its summer sports. It will be offering bocce on Mondays, track and field on Tuesdays, golf on Thursdays, and potentially soccer or softball on Wednesdays.

For more information on these upcoming sports programs or to get involved with Special Olympics Caledon, those interested can send an email to athletecoordinator.caledon@specialolympicsontario.ca.

 

 


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