KAMLOOPS --- If you go down, someone will do their best to help you back up.
That's just one of the lessons Jordynn Denness and the rest of the coaches for the zone two Special Olympics basketball team will be teaching their athletes at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops this weekend.
"I feel with Special Olympics we do all we can to cultivate a really positive and inclusive community for these athletes." says Denness. "The athletes show that every day. They are so encouraging and kind to the other athletes."
Denness, who also coaches the Kamloops Special Olympics hoops squad, will bring three of her Kamloops athletes with her once zone two suits up for competition starting Friday. She says these types of events are special, because of the friendships you forge.
"It's such a fun weekend to be meeting people, making new friends from other zones." says Denness. "I've definately made lifelong friends with other coaches and other athletes."
Aaron Sorenson, Joshua Trudeau and Kent Plettl will be lacing up for the tourney, which starts Friday morning at Pacific Way Elementary.
Each athlete brings a very specific skill set to the team.
Athlete Aaron Sorenson says, "I like stealing the ball from the other team and passing to teammates."
"I say blocking" says zone two player Joshua Trudeau. "I'm a good blocker -- I can shoot."
Adds Kent Plettl, a multi-sport athlete, "I have to say that my power is increasing --- I can now hit a half court shot most times."
While Kent, Josh and Aaron all bring something different to the hardwood, they're all stoked to meet new people and make new friends.
"I just enjoy being on the basketball team." says Plettl, "Meeting new friends, new people."
"Just playing and having fun." says Trudeau. "Meeting all the other athletes and players."
"I love it because I get to meet new people, hang out with new friends -- play the game I love." says Sorenson.
For Coach Jordynn Denness having three athletes she coaches will make the games extra special.
She says it's importand to give these athletes an opportunity to showcase their skills, like any other athletes in the province.
"I think it's so special," says Denness, "that the B.C. Winter Games includes the Special Olympics sports. I think these athletes and all athletes in our province deserve to be celebrated for their work and the skills that they
bring --- so it's nice to see everyone being celebrated on the same stage, because they all deserve it."
The B.C. Winter Games will also include Special Olympics figure skating at the Sandman Centre and wheelchair basketball at Sahali Secondary.
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