Special Olympics seeking local participants

Bocce for Special Olympians will be played every Thursday at 4 p.m. behind Clearwater Dollar Emporium

What can be done to promote Special Olympics in the Clearwater area?

That’s the question that Leslie Thornley, regional community development manager with BC Special Olympics, is looking for answers to.

“We’re always trying to find Special Olympic athletes, but we don’t seem to be able to reach the right people and let them know it’s an option for them,” she said.

A bocce try-it day for people with an intellectual disability held on Sunday on the grounds at Raft River Elementary School attracted just one potential athlete (although one more would have attended but she had commitments elsewhere, said Thornley).

Special Olympics chapters in Kamloops and 100 Mile have bocce teams and so it would be a good fit to have one here, she felt.

According to Times files, there was a Special Olympics chapter in Clearwater that formed in about 1998 and had as many as 14 athletes participating.

The group curled in the winter, carpet bowled, traveled out of town to five-pin bowl, and had one athlete training in long-distance running.

Since then, however, there has been little interest or activity, and efforts to revitalize the local chapter have not met with success.


Anyone interested in being a Special Olympic athlete, coach or volunteer should give Leslie Thornley a call at 250-317-1272 or email to lthornley@specialolympics.bc.ca.

LATE NEWS: Bocce for Special Olympians will be played every Thursday at 4 p.m. behind Clearwater Dollar Emporium


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