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Annual slo-pitch clash has Special Olympics Oceanside members smiling

Annual slo-pitch game helps players improve
Special Olympics Oceanside athlete Samuel Jamieson is directed to home plate by his support worker. (Michael Briones photo)

Members of the Special Olympics Oceanside had a reason to smile.

Their joy was priceless after they once again beat the Parksville Golden Oldies Sports Association (PGOSA) All-Stars in their fourth annual slo-pitch clash that was held at the Parksville Community Park field on June 17.

The Special Olympics teams look forward to this event every year as they have managed to take home the memorial trophy every time. This year was no different as both their teams bested the all-star teams. Upon achieving that, the cheers, applause and screams were echoed throughout the park as they celebrated their win.

The game was modified and lasted only two innings per game. Every player in the team is given the chance to bat and once all of them has had their turn, the other team gets the chance to bat. 

The memorial trophy for them, according to the coaches of the Special Olympics, is like the NHL Stanley Cup as each member gets a chance to bring it home and relive that feeling of triumph, fun and excitement.

Organizer Randy White said the Special Olympics players development in the sport has been remarkable.

"When we started, that was four years go, we just had a little scrub game with them and then we said, 'they can get a lot better,'" White said. "Since then we have been trying to work with them and their game has improved tremendously."

White added that he believes some of the players have the ability to go further. 

"There's potential for one or two of them to get for sure in the provincials, in the nationals and possibly the Olympics," said White. "That's what we're here for. This is a game changer for our players. They just love to participate and that's what it is all about."

The Oceanside Special Olympics team will be competing in a regional competition in Campbell River July 6 and July 7 and aim to land a spot in the provincial championships.

Following the game, the players, coaches and organizers were treated to some refreshments and food supplied by Quality Foods

Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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