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SOO-Guelph Volunteer, Steve Redmond, Inducted into Guelph Sports Hall of Fame

posted Aug 12, 2013, 9:44 AM by Jarrod Copland

Taken from The Fountain Pen:

2013 Guelph Sports Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Web posted on August 07, 2013

Guelph, On, August 7, 2013 The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors is pleased to announce the names of the 2013 inductees who will be inducted at a ceremony in October.

This year's inductees are athlete Todd Hlushko, veteran athlete Lt.-Col. John Steele, builder Steve Redmond, official Frank Cecchetto and the 1939 Guelph Leaflets.

The induction ceremony will take place during the annual Kiwanis Sports Celebrity dinner on the evening of Wednesday, October 23 at the Italian Canadian Club. Tickets are $80 for adults and $35 for students 17 and under.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 519-822-4900 extension 2844.

Inductee Bios

Builder Steve Redmond
Steve Redmond is an inspirational and exemplary educator, coach and community leader. Chosen in 2006 as one of Canada's Outstanding Principals and Special Olympics Ontario `Educator of the Year,' Redmond has successfully combined his passion for sports with his commitment to providing opportunities for all children and youth including coaching, managing and organizing with Special Olympics at the local, regional and provincial levels.

In 2000, Redmond established the 1st Guelph Special Olympics Youth Basketball program. He has been the head coach since the beginning and the program now has 80 athletes, four teams and 21 coaches. He has organized for 11 years the Guelph Invitational Basketball Tournament which is one of the largest in the province.

In 2002, Redmond had a vision for a Guelph Special Olympics Schools Track and Field meet and worked hard with a committee of community volunteers to make it a reality. He has convened the track meet for 11 years and it now has 500 students with disabilities from 63 schools participating and has become a model for the rest of the province.

In 2007-2008, Redmond worked on an Athletics Canada pilot project with Paralympics Canada to modify the Run/Jump/Throw program for athletes with disabilities.

In 2009 he was selected by Special Olympics Canada to be part of their long term planning team responsible for establishing volunteer, youth ambassador and family network national programs.

Redmond received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Redmond was an outstanding all round athlete with provincial championships in five different sports: badminton, football, track and field, fastball and volleyball. For more than 40 years he has coached athletes at all levels including coaching the Guelph Special Olympics Basketball team to provincial gold in 2008 and provincial silver in 2012. He continues to coach and mentor young coaches.

SOO-Brantford Athletes Honoured at Brantford Red Sox Game

posted Jul 30, 2013, 12:27 PM by Jarrod Copland

Taken from the Brantford Expositor online site. 

Sox honour fundraiser 6

Expositor Staff

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:52:30 EDT PM

Don't worry if you were at the Metro on St. Paul Avenue at about 8 p.m. Wednesday and didn't see John Procee.

He had to leave his usual spot by the grocery store exit where he collects money for Special Olympics to handle another duty.

Procee, who has collected thousands of dollars over the years by selling birdhouses, was at the Brantford Red Sox game where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

A former client of Community Living Brant, Procee has been collecting money through the sale of birdhouses for more than 15 years now and in that time has raised more than $150,000 for Special Olympics.

The birdhouses are made by Jim Wilson, a retired Brantford firefighter and former neighbour, who befriended Procee as a child.

Procee was chosen to throw out the first pitch at the Red Sox game on a night that celebrates the community's Special Olympians. Special Olympic athletes from a range of sports were on the field prior to the game to be recognized by the Red Sox fans and players.

"John was an excellent choice to throw out the first pitch," John Bradford, a director with the Brant chapter of Ontario Special Olympics, said prior to the game. "He has done so much for this community and so much for Special Olympics.

"The Special Olympic athletes in our community get support from Special Olympics Ontario but as good as that is, it only goes so far. The support these athletes get from John's efforts help cover the costs of uniforms and transportation."

He noted that a lot of Special Olympic athletes recently returned from a major competition and brought 27 medals home with them.

SOO-Kitchener-Waterloo Hosts Successful Dirty Dash Fundraiser

posted Jul 15, 2013, 12:10 PM by Jarrod Copland

Taken from

Runners get dirty for good cause

Dirtydash triumph

David Bebee,Record staff
Christopher Nowak (centre) leads a group to the finish Sunday in the mud pit at the annual Dirty Dash race at Bechtel Park in Waterloo.

WATERLOO — This was not your typical race.

More than 700 people jumped over hay bales, waded across a river and attempted to run, wallow and crawl through a 21-metre (70-foot) long mud pit for the annual Dirty Dash at Bechtel Park on Sunday.

The Dirty Dash, organized by the Waterloo Running Series, is a fun running or walking event that promotes fitness while raising funds for the Kitchener-Waterloo chapter of Special Olympics Ontario.

Participants of all ages could race in the four- or eight-kilometre events, or take part in a one-kilometre kids "fun run."

"I think it embraces the spirit of Special Olympics. We're here to promote sport and have a good time, but we're also here to compete," said Jennifer Mondell, fundraising co-ordinator for Special Olympics.

For serious runners, the event offered a more challenging terrain and exciting atmosphere than the typical five- or 10-kilometre race.

"It gives (runners) an opportunity to maybe not be as competitive and have a bit of fun," said event organizer Lloyd Schmidt.

The event raised over $7,000 for Special Olympics K-W and saw record numbers take part.

Waterloo Running Series is also planning a new "colour run" where participants will get splashed with paint along the course. The Colour Run will be held on Aug. 24 and proceeds from the event will support local charities.

SOO-Windsor Athletes Experience Success at 2013 Provincial Summer Games

posted Jul 15, 2013, 12:06 PM by Jarrod Copland

Taken from Windsor Star's online site. 

Windsor’s Special Olympics athletes cleaned up at provincials

Siblings Gabe Labrecque, 14, left, and Celine, 16, returned to Windsor, Ont., with several medals on Sunday, July 14, 2013 from the Special Olympics Ontario 2013 Summer Games held in Toronto over the weekend. (REBECCA WRIGHT/ The Windsor Star)Siblings Gabe Labrecque, 14, left, and Celine, 16, returned to Windsor, Ont., with several medals on Sunday, July 14, 2013 from the Special Olympics Ontario 2013 Summer Games held in Toronto over the weekend. (REBECCA WRIGHT/ The Windsor Star)
Joel Boyce
Jul 14, 2013 - 8:42 PM EDT
Last Updated: Jul 15, 2013 - 6:39 AM EDT

Windsor’s Special Olympics athletes returned Sunday afternoon from the Special Olympics Ontario 2013 Summer Games in Toronto and brought 90 medals home with them – more than half of them gold.

A large crowd gathered outside Windsor’s Via Rail to welcome the athletes home.  Friends and families cheered and whistled carrying signs, flowers and balloons as the athletes exited the train. Windsor’s Special Olympics co-ordinator Cindy Labrecque felt a great sense of pride for her athletes. Not one of 47 competitors, ranging from ages 12-63, returned empty handed.

“We’re very proud of our athletes,” Labrecque said. “They were very successful. Everyone won at least one medal. We had some personal bests and it bumped them up to levels they’ve never been at before.”

Kristin Garrett, the rhythmic gymnastics coach, said she had never witnessed a Windsor team come home with so many awards.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” she said. “We’ve been working at this for years. To see how much work they put in and how it has paid off, it’s an awesome feeling.”

Many of the athletes practice twice a week for two hours a day, sometimes more. With the season starting in September, many are eager to compete after many months of training.

When Labrecque’s 14-year-old son, Gabe, was asked about his training, his only response was “Wow.”

“I practiced every week and I ran a 3,000 metres every weekend on the track at my school,” Gabe said. “It was a lot, but it paid off.”

Gabe came home with five gold medals in track and field, and a bronze in shot put.

His sister Celine was just as successful at the event in Toronto. She returned to Windsor with four gold and one silver medal in rhythmic gymnastics.

One of her most memorable moments from the weekend, though, was mentoring and being a role model to a younger athlete.

“I had a little one look up to me so I had to act like a big girl,” Celine joked.

A few years ago, Celine was qualified to attend the 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Greece. However she wasn’t able to attend because she was one week shy of turning 14.

Celine, who turned 16 at the start of the provincial competition, is hoping to qualify for the 2015 World Games taking place in Los Angeles. But before that event, she wants to focus her training on the2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in British Columbia.

Labrecque said she couldn’t be more pleased for her two kids.

“I’m very proud of them both,” she said. “It’s very satisfying. It gives them an outlet where they are accepted. They’re very successful in their sports.”

Laura Weidner and Barry Green Names SOO-Cambridge Athletes of the Year

posted Jul 15, 2013, 12:00 PM by Jarrod Copland

Taken from the Cambridge Times online site. 

Athletes of the year named by local Special Olympics group

Cambridge Times

Celebrated for their attitude and their ability to get along with others, as well as attendance and participation, Laura Weidner and Barry Green have been chosen as the local Special Olympics athletes of the year.

“They’re very high functioning, very friendly and outgoing – dedicated, I guess you could say,” explained Sandra Goodwin, who coaches the five- and 10-pin bowling programs, as well as floor hockey. She is also the community co-ordinator for Special Olympics Ontario – Cambridge.

“They were all really happy to get them,” she added of the awards.

Weidner bowls in the five-pin bowling program. She is known for always having a smile on her face and trying her best.

Green bowls in the five- and 10-pin programs, as well as playing basketball and floor hockey and rarely misses a week of any activity. He was at the provincial games in Kingston last year and is waiting to see if he qualifies to go to the nationals in British Columbia next year.

The group’s third major award, the Kevin Largey Memorial Swimming Achievement Trophy, was presented to 15-year-old Cooper Moore – one of the youngest local Special Olympians in any sport.

“He has participated in several swim meets and has improved greatly this year,” Goodwin explained of why Moore was chosen as recipient. “Cooper is a friendly young man and tries very hard each week.”

The award is named in honour of a coach who was killed in a collision with a train.

Community Athlete Leads School Team to Championship

posted Aug 14, 2012, 11:32 AM by Info Webmaster   [ updated Aug 15, 2012, 6:46 PM ]

Guelph athlete Andrew McTaggert took on a new role this week as the Head Coach for the Centennial CVI Spartans Special Olympics Basketball team. Andrew who graduated from the school last year was given the task of leading the team he once particiapted on at this year's Waterloo/Guelph School Competition.
Andrew's former teachers and regular coaches of the team, Mr. Rubenstein and Mr. Lunn saw this as a great opportunity for Andrew to develop his coaching skills and see the game from the coach point of view.
Andrew came dressed to lead in a suit and tie, with briefcase and official line up forms for the score table. He went into the Championship game with a 2 and 1 record, only losing one game by 1 basket. The Championship game pitted rivals St. David's and Centennial who played only 1 hour before in a very heated back and forth game. In the end, Centennial rose victorious to a 12-11 win. 
Centennial CVI has been attending this tournament for 5 years and this is their first Championship finish. 

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