The Portage Special Olympics program is getting underway in less than a week. The group is currently taking in anyone from Portage or the surrounding area who may be interested in getting active and having fun. Head coach of the program, Deanna Talbot, says they take in anyone from ages two and up.
"This year, we're doing it a little bit different. In the past, we've ran two different programs locally but this year we're going to combine them. So, it's going to be athletes of all ages and abilities, and we're going to combine them into one," Talbot explains. "We will be doing some kids' activities but also playing basketball and other sports. We'll just be growing as the weeks go on."
While the Special Olympics is often associated with high-level athletes, Talbot says their program is welcome to all skill levels, including those who are new to athletics. The coach notes they can adapt to all different abilities, and adds if parents have any concerns, they are more than welcome to reach out to Talbot for answers.
She outlines what a typical day would look like for the program.
"We'll start off our practice with a warm-up and gather together. We'll break out and do little activities in groups or individually, whatever fits the athlete's needs," Talbot continues. "As the weeks progress, we'll be focusing on different skills and different games. Eventually, we will be doing basketball for the adult athletes and then some other games for the younger ones."
Talbot notes they are also searching for a few more volunteers to help out this season. For anyone looking to get involved as an athlete or instructor, Talbot outlines how you can do so.
"They can get in touch with myself either by email (email@example.com) or by phone (204-870-0613) and I'll get them enrolled with Special Olympics Manitoba. We're going to be running the program on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 at Arthur Meighen School, and we'll be starting on September 20th, and it runs for twelve weeks."