Toronto Police members joined students at Maplewood High School in Scarborough to pack swag bags for athletes and coaches taking part in the first ever Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games (IYG) in the Greater Toronto Area from May 14-17.
They unpacked boxes with donated products separated them and packed almost 2,600 bags that included buttons, pins, water bottles, gum, chips, Toronto Transit Commission maps, tourist brochures and teddy bears for the athletes.
“What is unique about what they did is that some of the bags will be used by students from this school who are competing in the Games,” said A/Sgt. Michelle Campbell.
A total of 34 Maplewood students will compete in all of the sports, except floor hockey.
“We work closely with 43 Division and there is a sense of community,” said school Principal Duncan LeBlanc. “The police are part of the community and it’s great to be able to welcome them here.”
Some of the officers that assisted with the project included Insp. Susan Gomes, Det. Keri Fernandes, Sgt. Stephen Laramy and Const. Joanne Tawton.
Deputy Chief Barbara McLean thanked the students for helping to showcase Toronto to the world.
“We are really excited about these Games because they are celebrating Special Olympics in Ontario,” she said. “I know there is a lot of spirit in this building and I wish your athletes well next week. Those swag bags you helped pack will make athletes from all over the world remember our city. You are what is great about our city.”
Nearly 2,000 athletes will attend the Games.
The Toronto Police Service is the host organization with Chief Mark Saunders being the honourary Chair.
Athletes will compete in track & field, basketball, bocce, soccer and floor hockey.
Learn more at youthgames2019.com