Special Olympians best Muskoka’s finest
Special Olympians gave Bracebridge police officers a run for their money during a hard-fought game of pick-up street hockey last week.
Officers took on the athletes in a 4-on-4 tournament in the Bracebridge detachment’s front driveway on Thursday, Oct. 25. Held to celebrate Special Olympics Canada’s “Be a Fan Day” campaign, the game culminated in a 6-6 tie in the closing minutes of the game.
Although the OPP put up a tough fight, they were bested in the end by the Olympians, who wrapped up the game with a score of 7-6.
“We tried, we played, hard, we had a great goaltender, but we couldn’t make it work,” said OPP Const. Derek Wickett. “It was a lot of fun.”
Bracebridge was one of 75 communities across the country that took part in the “Be a Fan Day” campaign, which raises awareness and support for Special Olympics. Throughout the game, organizers handed out red shoelaces, which spectators were encouraged to lace up in support of Special Olympics.
“We’re all wearing the laces because 25 years ago, law enforcement officers across Canada started to help support Special Olympics,” said Gord Maunder, a past coordinator with Special Olympics - Muskoka.
Deputy Mayor Rick Maloney, who refereed the game, said the event also marks an important milestone for the annual Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Relay, which took place this past summer. The annual event is an integral part of fundraising efforts for Special Olympics around the world.
“The red lace campaign marks the 25th anniversary of the torch relay,” said Maloney. “I know that our law enforcement community, more specifically, the Bracebridge detachment, has been great partners for the Special Olympics in that regard.”