- Jackie Barrett - Special Olympian
- July 22, 2013 - 06:49
Darrin Reid said that four clubs have one Special Olympics program where Bonavista North, Conception Bay South, and Baie Verte have only 5 Pin Bowling and Bay St. George has only Athletics. In the long term, clubs providing just one Special Olympics program will hurt their ability to grow as athletes and potential athletes want more choice, meaning more sports available. In the case of Conception Bay South, while this town has one of Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador's highest registered athlete population levels, they only provide one program, 5 Pin Bowling. Athletes wanting to do other sports have to go other Special Olympics clubs like Mount Pearl and St. John's. The concern with having just 5 Pin Bowling is that Special Olympics Canada are thinking about removing this sport from the national games lineup after the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games, meaning Baie Verte, Conception Bay South, and Bonavista North could have difficulty sending athletes to the national games. If large clubs like Conception Bay South wants to sustain itself and grow in the future, the next step are to provide more Special Olympics programs like Athletics, Powerlifting, Swimming, Golf, Soccer, Basketball, Figure Skating, Snowshoeing, Floor Hockey, and Curling, not just focus on 5 Pin Bowling. In fact, Special Olympics Gander's registered athlete levels have grown considerably over the last three years not just due to their population growth, but also their ability to provide more program choices for their athletes. In other words, if Gander can benefit greatly from providing more Special Olympics sports choices, so can large clubs like Conception Bay South.