Chatham-Kent hosting Special Olympics June 11-12

Organizers of the Special Olympics Ontario School Championship Games are inviting the Chatham-Kent community to help kick off the event with nearly 800 athletes from across the province.

The games will take place in the municipality next week with the opening ceremony being held after the first day of competitions on June 11.

The celebration will begin in the evening with a torch run, known as the Final Leg, which will see the athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” torch from the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre to the John D. Bradley Convention Centre to begin the opening ceremonies.

“We then transfer the Flame of Hope to our torch bearer who will ignite the cauldron to kick off the games,” said organizer Jason Herder.

Thanks to donations from sponsors, businesses, community organizations, and the municipality, organizers were able to raise more than $400,000 to host the games in Chatham-Kent.

“We can’t do these games without our community and the community support that we’ve had has just been tremendous,” said Herder. “It’s a very humbling experience as an event organizer watching the community support come in.”

Because of the generosity of the community, Herder said it was important to invite everyone to take part in the Final Leg run so they can see what it’s really all about.

“It’s a very emotional part of the games. I’ve done some Final Legs in the past and it’s certainly something that’s very dear to my heart,” said Herder. “You realize all the effort done as a community — just how much it’s worth it when you see those smiling faces.”

There is a $20 registration fee to participate in the Final Leg, which comes with a t-shirt, food and a beverage. To register, click here.

The School Championship Games will take place June 11-12, with 756 student-athletes competing in five sports at three different locations. Basketball and bocce will be held at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, track and field will be held at Chatham-Kent Secondary School, and soccer and floor ball will be played at the St. Clair College Thames Campus.

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    Audrey 2 days

    great job