Manitoulin Special Olympics hosts regional tournament

Island teams finish in top three in their divisions

MINDEMOYA—Two Manitoulin Island Special Olympics (MSO) slo-pitch blooperball teams finished in the top three in their divisions at the Ontario Special Olympics regional tournament held at the refurbished Mindemoya baseball fields this past weekend.

In the slo-pitch A division, North Bay finished first defeating Sault Ste. Marie, with Timmins in third place. In the B division, the Manitoulin Wolverines team placed third, behind Sudbury and Timmins, who placed first and second respectively. A North Bay team finished fourth.

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And, in the t-ball division, North Bay placed first with the Manitoulin Island Night Riders garnering second place.

“There was a great turnout, with lots of people coming out to watch the games,” said Janet Anning, MSO coordinator and coach, on Sunday evening. “Hopefully we will be able to host these regional slo-pitch games again next year.”

Ms. Anning noted, “we would especially like to thank the representatives of Northern Credit Union and the Gore Bay Rotary Club who worked the concession booth all weekend, and provided wonderful support to the Special Olympics.”

The tournament was played over two days, Friday evening and all day Saturday, said Ms. Anning.

The official opening of the tournament was held on Saturday morning. “Good morning, and welcome everyone to Manitoulin Island.  We want to thank everyone for coming out here this weekend, the people from both Northern Credit Union and the Gore Bay Rotary Club who are manning the concession booth; Matthew Bedard and his business Manitoulin Hawdogs, he is both cooking and playing this weekend.”

“We would like to thank the field crew including Lew Lanktree, Sue Whynott, Christine, Bill, Al, and the rest of Lew’s crew. I don’t know what we would do without the Lanktree family,” said Ms. Anning.

“I would also like to thank our umpires Bruce Wiggins, Delroy Prescott and Bill Lanktree,” continued Ms. Anning. “And to all the volunteers showing to help out with the breakfast, and lunch.”’

“We also have to thank this lady, Janet Anning, who has again done so much in organizing the tournament,” said Katherine Tipper.   

MSO athlete Andrew Splawanyck presented the athletes oath, while the singing of “O’ Canada” by everyone in attendance was lead by MSO coach Wendy Graham.

The tournament attracted teams form Timmins, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Manitoulin Island.

During the tournament representatives of both the Northern Credit Union (Steve Shaffer and Jim Gilpin), and the Gore Bay Rotary Club (Jo-Ellen Sloss) donated $300 each to MSO. The funds were used toward supplies for the food booth, so that any sales made at the concession booth over the weekend will go towards Manitoulin Special Olympics. Brad Bowerman and Frito Lay donated all the chips for the weekend, while other donations of food were made by Dean’s Valu-Mart and Weston’s.

The tournament was hosted on the newly refurbished Mindemoya ball fields. Greg Lockeyer told the Recorder that the tenders have been awarded for new lighting at the ballfields.

“PSL (Patrick Shaw Limited) (of Sudbury) has been awarded the contract in conjunction with Dixon Electric for the installation of the new lights,” Mr. Lockeyer told the Recorder. “The work should start toward the end of September and take two to three weeks to be completed.”

Representatives of both the Northern Credit Union and the Gore Bay Rotary Club each presented cheques in the amount of $300 to the Manitoulin Special Olympics this past Saturday. In photo, left to right, front row is Murray Haner, Steve Shafer, both representing Northern Credit Union, MSO coordinator Janet Anning, Joellen Sloss of the Gore Bay Rotary Club, and Jim Gilpin of the credit union. In background are MSO athletes and coaches who took part in the regional slo-pitch blooperball tournament this past weekend in Mindemoya.