College springboard to Special Olympics

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 6 p.m. December 11, 2013

The Toronto Police College was a hive of activity for a few hours on Dec. 3, as Special Olympians from eight Toronto public and Catholic schools competed in a bocce tournament for the right to advance to next year’s provincial championships.

A young man in a jersey underhand throws a ball in a gym as people watch
An athlete plays bocce

As a Special Olympics sports, bocce, provides individuals with special needs the opportunity to have social contact, develop physically and gain self-confidence.

Kirsten Bobbie, the Four Corners project coordinator for Special Olympics Ontario, welcomed the opportunity to use the police facility.

“Toronto Police are such fantastic supporters of Special Olympics, in general, and the Four Corners program,” she said.

“We see law enforcement support wherever we go in the province. The support in this city has been absolutely stellar and they have a great facility here.”

The Special Olympics Four Corners provincial school championships program provides quality competition experience for students with an intellectual disability from 13 – 21 in basketball, soccer, bocce and track & field.

Five people, one in a Toronto Police uniform on left, in a line against a wall. Two are young people in jerseys.
Const. Lesa Harvey and Det. Karen Boyd and Kirsten Bobbie with Special Olympics athletes

We see law enforcement support wherever we go in the province. The support in this city has been absolutely stellar and they have a great facility here

A total of 32 regional qualifying competitions will be held throughout the 2013/2014 school year, with eight competitions in each sport. Teams at each regional qualifier will be vying for the opportunity to advance to the provincial competition next May.

Det. Karen Boyd said the Service is committed to Special Olympians.

“We do a lot of work with Special Olympics and we are happy to have these young people come out here to our facility today and have some fun,” she said.

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