Special Olympics Ontario, a non-profit organization that helps provide sports and training programs for youth and adults with intellectual disabilities, is holding the 2023 Ontario School Championships in Kingston from June 6 to 8, 2023. Several opportunities to volunteer on campus are still available.
The event, hosted by Kingston Police, will welcome over 1100 student-athletes, coaches, and their families to the City of Kingston and to Queen’s campus. During the 2022/23 academic year, over 7,000 high-school athletes competed across the province to qualify.
The partnership between Kingston Police and Special Olympics is longstanding, with annual events such as the Polar Plunge and the Law Enforcement Torch Run to raise funds. Torch Runners from across Ontario will be running the Flame of Hope through downtown Kingston and into the Opening Ceremonies taking place at the Queen’s Athletics & Recreation Centre (ARC) main gym on Tuesday, June 6 at 7pm.
All events are free of charge and student-athletes will be competing at Queen’s and Kingston venues:
Basketball – Queen’s University Athletics & Recreation Centre (ARC)
Bocce – Queen’s University Nixon Field
Soccer – Queen’s University Tindall Field
Floor Hockey – Cataraqui Arena
Track and Field – Invista Centre
Each sport has two team divisions: a traditional division, where athletes on the team have an intellectual disability, and a unified division, where athletes with and without an intellectual disability compete on the same team.
Special Olympics Ontario held Provincial Spring Games in Kingston in 2012 and this is the first time the Ontario School Championships have been in the city. This event was originally scheduled for June 2020, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are so pleased to be able to collaborate with our community partners and provide space and support on campus for this wonderful event,” says Principal Deane. “The power of accessible and inclusive sport has tremendous impact for individuals and communities and calls for celebration. We look forward to welcoming Special Olympics student-athletes, coaches, and their families to Kingston and to Queen’s.”
Several volunteer and engagement opportunities are still available for Queen’s students, faculty, and staff. Please fill out this form if you are interested in volunteering to be a part of the Queen’s University Host Team that will help orient Special Olympics participants to Queen’s residences, dining halls, and campus, or assist with ceremonies, sport operations, and medical support.
Kingston Police are also promoting the Draft an Athlete program to help offset the cost of attending competitions for Special Olympics athletes.
More information is available on the Special Olympics Ontario School championships website.