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'A smile was on his face every second of that game'

Maple Ridge News - 5/2/2018

I grew up in an RCMP family, which definitely influenced my career choice.

That being said, there is something else that has had even more influence on me, and that is my relationship with my older brother, Jarrod. He has Down's Syndrome.

I am honored and excited to be one of the Ridge Meadows RCMP Law Enforcement Torch Run coordinators and, through my career, continue my passion to support the Special Olympics and my brother.

We grew up in a small community on the south coast of Newfoundland, where my father was stationed with the RCMP. In 1987, Jarrod was born.

While there wasn't always much to do, one thing Jarrod was able to look forward to each week was the Special Olympics, with which he was able to go and learn sports and have an incredible amount of fun in a supportive, non-competitive environment.

My dad helped with the local RCMP detachment Torch Run and continues to do so in retirement. Through fundraising and other initiatives, our family, community and local RCMP helped Jarrod achieve his goals.

I became involved with the Torch Run at a young age. I helped out at tournaments by keeping time for the runners, taking jump or throw measurements, or getting water for the athletes.

I was happy to do whatever I could to support the Special Olympics and my brother. To me, the Special Olympics is the purest form of sport.

I remember a time when my brother was curling and his teammate threw a rock. In curling, you sweep in front of the rock. However, my brother was sweeping behind the rock – an innocent mistake. This did not matter to him one bit. He was just happy to be on the ice with his team. Everyone was cheering for him as he swept and when the stone came to a stop, it happened to be the shot rock, which is the winning point.

Realizing this great accomplishment, the other team broke out in cheer and there were high fives all around.

A smile was on his face every second of that game.

Special Olympic sports, like any sports, require time, dedication, and resources, not just from athletes, but from parents, volunteers, and organizers.

The Torch Run raises money to help support everyone involved to make sure those smiles don't fade from Special Olympians.

The B.C. Torch Run alone has raised approximately $3 million since 1990 through donations from fellow officers, private individuals, and the business community.

This money has been used to help increase the athlete base to more than 4,600 athletes in 55 communities around the province.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics. Each year brings something new, and I cannot wait to see what this year has in store.

• To support, please donate: All proceeds go towards Special Olympic athletes achieving their goals.


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