Wally Trotter

Wally Trotter

Always an open door to athletes, volunteers at Special Olympics

Special Olympics season is here which means the Greater Victoria chapter is making its annual call for volunteers.

Special Olympics season is around the corner which means the Greater Victoria chapter is making its annual call for volunteers.

A little more than 200 athletes participated in Victoria’s 2012-2013 Special Olympics season and the same number is registered again this year.

“Official registration is over but we’re still accepting athletes and volunteers,” said Kim Perkins, public relations co-ordinator for the Special Olympics in Greater Victoria.

This past summer, 83 Victoria athletes participated in the Provincial Summer Games in Langley. Eight of the athletes and four of the Victoria coaches have been selected for the National Summer Games in Vancouver in 2014.

“There’s a growing interest in the programs at the youth level, it’s one of the areas we’re expanding,” Perkins said.

Volunteer coaches or helpers at whatever level are welcome to approach Special Olympics to participate in particular sports.

But you don’t have to be an expert in a sport to volunteer either, said Perkins, who started six years ago as a snowshoe coach and is now on the executive.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn more about a sport you might like.”

Commitment is about two hours per week.

Greater Victoria programs are currently seeking coaches for its winter sports, as well as a travel co-ordinator to handle travel details, an equipment co-ordinator, a uniform co-ordinator (for competitions), and a fundraising co-ordinator.

The winter season includes rhythm gymnastics, floor hockey, five-pin and 10-pin bowling, basketball, snowshoeing, alpine skiing, swimming, curling, athletic club, speed and figure skating, FUNdamental (for ages 7 to 11), and powerlifting.

All sports are open to athletes 12 and over, with the exception of powerlifting, which is 18 and over.

Athletes can qualify at regional winter competitions to attend the Provincial Winter Games in Kamloops in 2015.

Visit victoriaspecialolympics.com to register or volunteer.

sports@vicnews.com