HALIFAX — Awards in three categories were presented to local athletes and volunteers last Wednesday as Special Olympics Nova Scotia honoured winners of its 2017 provincial awards presented at the Annual Special Olympics Nova Scotia Inspired Gala.
Pictou County curlers were named team of the year, while Daniel MacLeod was tabbed as male athlete of the year.
Terry Richardson was presented with the Dr. Elizabeth A. Chard Chairperson’s Award.
The curlers include Chris Atkinson, Lucy Rogers, Adam Smith, Jane Founce and Evan Sharpe.
The curlers came close to winning at the Nova Scotia Special Olympics Winter Games in 2015 but won the gold medal match in 2017.
“It feels nice to receive the award,” said Atkinson, who skips the team. “I’m proud of the team. We had two rookies last year, but they did really well — every one of them. We had a really good time.”
Atkinson said he would like to work on the communication among team members, which can be a challenge due to the mandatory head protection the curlers wear.
“There are some little things to work on,” he said.
MacLeod joined Special Olympics Pictou County 11 years ago and excelled at swimming and snowshoeing. He achieved a gold medal and a silver medal in snowshoeing at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games after vaulting to local, provincial, national and international levels after choosing the discipline over swimming.
Richardson’s time with Special Olympics goes back to 1987 when he began fundraising for the local region. He volunteered for 14 years before joining the local board of directors.
He later became regional director and became provincial board chairman in 2015.
He chaired the transportation committee for the provincial summer games and is a member of the organizing committee for the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games that Antigonish is hosting this summer.
Special Olympics Pictou County members were honoured on January 31 during the Annual Special Olympics Nova Scotia Inspired Gala in Halifax. From the left, front row: curlers Adam Smith, Chris Atkinson and Jane Founce and snowshoe athlete Daniel MacLeod. Back row: coach Scott Ferris, curler Evan Sharpe and head coach Tracy Sharpe of the curling team and Dr. Elizabeth A. Chard Chairperson’s Award winner Terry Richardson. (Goodwin photo)