Competitors and volunteers came together for a day of a wide range of athletic events and fun. Tom Best photo

Smithers Special Olympics Sports Day

PHOTOS: Local athletes came out to give their best but the Special O competitors were hard to beat.

The weather could not have been better and the competitors could not have shown any more joy and excitement than the runners, jumpers and throwers at the Smithers Special Olympics Sports Day last Saturday.

The day was designed around a track meet and included some novelty and fun events.

With costs of travel to provincial level meets becoming more than the local group could handle, Alex Walker of Smithers Special Olympics put together an event that would help provide the local athletes with a competitive opportunity as well as a fundraising opportunity.

“We were hoping to raise around $10,000 and while I don’t have details, I think we will be close to that,” he said.

Walker explained that local businesses were approached for the endeavour and to provide some competition for the Special Olympic members. Regular Special Olympic events were on offer as well as activities such as face painting.

Local athletes came out to give their best but the Special O competitors were hard to beat.

Sean Levenson competed in six events at the meet.

“It was a great event. It’s a great way for the community and the Special Olympic athletes to get to know each other and have a lot of fun competing,” he said.

Luke Smith, a Special Olympic athlete, also competed in a broad range of events.

“I had lots of fun and I enjoyed the weather,” he said.

Walker was very pleased with the outcome of the event.

“It did much better than I possibly could have imagined,” he said. “We had a lot of great partners in the event today. They all did their part to keep everyone happy.”

He said that the main idea behind the event was to get the community more involved and aware of Special Olympics.

“We’ve been here for many years but not everyone knows about it,” he said.

“It was a way to get people involved, recruit new volunteers and get donations as well as just a good fun event for the athletes to participate in,” he said. “Instead of spending that amount of money on attending an event in what is not a qualifying year, we decided to raise that amount of money instead.”

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Luke Smith head for finish line in front of the pack in the final of the 400 meter run. Tom Best photo

Racers included members of the Smithers Special Olympic group and competitors sponsored by local businesses. Tom Best photo

The shot put was a popular event despite very strict rules. Here a competitor demonstrates excellent form. Tom Best photo

One of the most popular events was the 4x 100 meter relay. Tom Best photo

The 800 meter run turned into a grueling race to the finish. Luke Smith was the winner with a stretch to the tape. Tom Best photo

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