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UOIT and Durham College host Special Olympics Ontario Provincial School Championships

Faculty, staff, students and community members cheered on the student-athletes at the Special Olympics Ontario Provincial School Championships basketball competitions held on campus June 1 and 2.
Faculty, staff, students and community members cheered on the student-athletes at the Special Olympics Ontario Provincial School Championships basketball competitions held on campus June 1 and 2.

Excitement was in the air June 1 and 2 as the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College hosted the Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) Provincial School Championships basketball competitions at their shared campus location.

Faculty, staff, students and community members cheered on the student-athletes competing in three-on-three, half-court basketball games at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre (CRWC). The City of Oshawa’s Civic Recreation Centre and Legends Centre hosted the other sporting events: soccer, bocce, track and field, and floor hockey. A total of 600 student-athletes competed in the games across all the locations.

“I am bursting with pride over how the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) stepped up and helped make this event so successful for the athletes and their coaches,” said Dr. Meghann Lloyd, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), who helped organize the university’s involvement in the event. “Such a large-scale event required many volunteers, many of whom were students, faculty members, staff and alumni from various faculties and departments across the university. A sincere thank you to all the volunteers who helped make these games a resounding success.”

This was the first year SOO Provincial School Championship participants benefitted from the Healthy Athlete screening program, thanks to the efforts of FHS student volunteers. The Healthy Athletes program focuses on providing health services and education to Special Olympics athletes, and changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities. Participants received the following screenings:

  • FUNFitness: Fitness screening that measures athletes' flexibility, strength, balance and aerobic fitness.
  • Strong Minds, Strong Bodies: Mental preparation to help athletes strengthen their coping skills.
  • Health Promotion: Screenings for blood pressure, body mass index and bone density, as well as health-education activities. 

“It makes a difference to the athletes and the coaches when a community comes together in support,” said Dr. Lloyd.  “Being a part of this wonderful event creates more opportunities for students, alumni, faculty and staff to learn more, gain hands-on experience through volunteer positions, be a part of something larger than the university, and develop a stronger sense of compassion for others. The games are an incredible example of the type of community we have at the university and college, and the positive environment we can create through support and community involvement.”

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