Special Olympics NWT is optimistic that it may be able to start some programming in Hay River after another successful Try-It Day in the community.

The main goal of the Try-It Day on Feb. 29 was to gauge the interest of potential volunteers to run programming in Hay River.

Seven potential volunteers showed up, which was more than the several at the first Try-It Day in December of 2018.

Among the people at the Feb. 29 Try-It Day held in Hay River by Special Olympics NWT were, left to right, Harry Beaulieu; Jill Alain, a volunteer from Yellowknife; and Jeff Ashby.
Photo courtesy of Abby Goodwin, Special Olympics NWT

“We’re really excited,” said Lynn Elkin, the executive director of Special Olympics NWT in Yellowknife. “We think there may be an opportunity. We got really positive feedback from both athletes and volunteers. So we are hopeful that we are able to get something going.”

If something does begin, it will be in the spring with a track and field mini-session of four to six weeks.

“We’re going to get back and talk to some of the folks,” said Elkin. “Some of them indicated an interest in continuing in some way. So that will be wonderful, and we will be hoping that enough of them will be interested in participating.”

Those conversations are expected to happen by this week.

Special Olympics operates on a ratio, meaning that for every three athletes in some sports there needs to be one volunteer coach.

“So it needs a pretty high number of volunteers to athletes,” said Elkin. “You can’t run a group of 10 with one person. So we need quite a few volunteers. But we’re pretty hopeful.”

Special Olympics NWT held its second Try-It Day in Hay River on Feb. 29 at the community hall in the Hay River Community Centre.
Photo courtesy of Abby Goodwin, Special Olympics NWT

Special Olympics offers sports programming for people with intellectual disabilities.

The Try-It Day attracted 11 athletes. Most attended an afternoon session involving fitness training and track and field for ages 12 and over, while one younger person attended a morning session.

Elkin was pleased with the turnout of athletes, noting it was an increase from December of 2018.

People from Special Olympics NWT in Yellowknife also attended the latest Try-It Day in Hay River. They included two athletes, two coaches and three other volunteers.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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