Special Olympics is an international organization dedicated to enriching the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through sports. One such sport is curling. In Ottawa, over 40 athletes have registered for curling this year. Some have been practicing the sport for years. They play at the Ottawa or the City View Curling Clubs, supporters of Special Olympics for the past 20 years.
Each year, competitive events are organized to provide athletes with an opportunity to match their skills against those of others. There are also “Funspiels” such as the one held at the City View Club on November 11.
Then there are events for our more advanced curlers. Every year, at the CurlON Men's Provincial Tankard, four Special Olympics teams demonstrate their skill at a game on the last weekend of the Tankard. For this honour, these four teams will already have competed in two qualifiers.
Level 1 qualifiers take place in 4 regions in Ontario. Last year, the Manotick Curling Centre hosted the East region qualifier. This year's qualifier was held on November 24 at the Granite Curling Club. On January 5th, a Level 2 qualifier will be held in Smiths Falls. Participants hope they will be among the four teams to play in Elmira (at the Ontario Tankard/Scotties) on February 3.
It’s thanks to the support of local clubs that Special Olympics Curling has grown and is thriving in Ottawa.