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Bringing the heat to compete

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The Swan Valley Tiger Fire Special Olympics team hosted their fifth annual Swan Valley Credit Union Floor Hockey Tournament last weekend (Jan. 11 and 12) in the SVRSS gymnasium where athletes from Winnipeg, Brandon, Dauphin/Winnipegosis, Riding Mountain, Portage, and the Valley showcased their skills and teamwork in a battle for top placement.
Madeline Lambert and Jordyn Schweder sang O Canada and Ricky Zimmer recited the Special Olympic Athlete Oath to start off the event.
The combined team of Swan Valley and Portage were able to put up a record of one win and two losses throughout their play, having fans on their feet in the stands cheering for them along the way.
In their last match of the weekend the Tigers and Cougars were up against the Dauphin/Winnipegosis/Riding Mountain Rebels in a high scoring endeavor that left the locals taking home the victory. By a final score of 13-9, the Tiger Cougar combination pushed the pace having the Valley’s own Kendall Leslie taking home the special award of player of the game.
Previously, the team was up against the Brandon Wheat City Wings in a close battle to the very end. The Wings were able to sneak out the victory by one goal with a final score of 8-7. Jarret Gingras carried the player of the game honours for that match up.
Starting off the tournament on Friday (Jan. 11) night, the Tigers and Cougars were up against the tough Winnipeg team. The Blue Devils pushed the tempo and had the locals on their heels trying to defend. With a final score of 9-3, the Tigers and Cougars suffered their first loss in their first game. Katherine Pugh took away the player of the game honours.
“We had a slow start on Friday against the Winnipeg Blue Devils,” said Head Coach June Mosiondz. “As the weekend progressed they eventually got into the rhythm, started making some good offensive and defensive decisions. By the last game they were more in sync as a team.”
Renewing friendships, making new friendships along the way and having fun, all of the athletes left satisfied with their play and happy for the chance to experience the weekend.
“(These tournaments) give people with intellectual disabilities the chance to demonstrate their abilities, determination and value, through sport,” said Mosiondz.
Mosiondz showed her appreciation for the time keepers, score keepers, statisticians, Prairie Mountain EMS, referees, and supporting businesses for their help in planning and executing the weekend for all of the athletes involved.
“We could not put this fantastic event on without their generous support,” said Mosiondz.
Larry Kobelka was the lucky winner of $274 in the 50/50 draw that went to support the team.
Coming up
The Swan Valley Tiger Fire team will travel to the 2019 Provincial Winter Games Qualifier in Winnipeg on Feb. 22-24 to try to qualify for the 2020 Special Olympic Canada Winter Games in Thunder Bay, Ont. Team Parkland will also be sending athletes to compete in five pin bowling, snowshoeing as well.
Athletes will also have the opportunity to attend Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program that provides individual screening assessments of health status and health care needs in the areas of: vision, oral health, hearing, physical therapy, and a variety of health promotion areas.

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Jakki Lumax
REPORTER
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