June 16, 2016 - 5:00 PM
KELOWNA - In spite of the rain on Saturday, Kelowna’s 5th annual motionball Marathon of Sport, presented by Interior Savings, raised just over $70,000 net for Special Olympics BC and Special Olympics Canada foundation, surpassing it's 2015 total of $50,000. Teams had a blast throughout the day with many participants expressing their plans to return again next year.
For the organizing committee — made up of a group of local volunteers— seeing smiles on the faces of the Special Olympic athletes and hearing the laughter coming from teams throughout the fields of City Park made all the hard work worth it.
“We are proud to be a part of this worthwhile event,” says co-event director, Donnie Ungaro. “Hearing stories of the Special Olympic athletes and seeing how happy they are to be involved is what brings us all together. Many of the athletes return year after year and it has been amazing to see their confidence grow from beginning until now.”
For one local athlete who participated in the event, being a part of the Special Olympics is what she credits for her improved health. Jeneka was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy at the age of three and had a bit of a rocky childhood because of it; however being a part of a community that cares made all the difference.
“This is my third year seizure free,” explains Jeneka. “I think being a part of Special Olympics — being in a positive environment and having all of the support — has decreased my seizure activity and boosted my self esteem. It is sort of like a family, no one is better than anyone else, everyone is equal and it is just a big team.”
In the six years that Jeneka has been a part of Special Olympics BC she has competed in two Summer Games, one Provincial Games, one National Games and just recently the World Games in Los Angeles, California. At Worlds she was a second, third and fourth place winner. Like the many other athletes who participated in motionball Kelowna on Saturday, Jeneka is grateful to be a part of Special Olympics BC and is looking forward to coming back to motionball Marathon of Sport Kelowna again next year.
Of the over 800,000 individuals in Canada with an intellectual disability only 40,000 are enrolled in Special Olympic programs. Funds raised through motionball Marathon of Sport will help impact the lives of even more individuals in BC and across the country.
Three different motionball Marathon of Sport events took place throughout Canada this past Saturday including one in Kingston, Ontario and one in Calgary, Alberta. Between all three events, over $210,000 was raised for Special Olympics Canada Foundation.
For more information about motionball Marathon of Sport visit www.motionball.com.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016