In deference to the upcoming Special Olympics in Kingston from May 31-June 2, the annual OPP Torch Run with grade 6 students at Morrisburg Public School is getting an early start, this Thursday, May 3.
“We wanted to get our runs in early this year to raise awareness for the games,” says OPP Constable John MacPherson who has participated in the run from Morrisburg Public School to Subway in the Morrisburg Shopping Plaza for the past several years.
Absent from this year’s school event is perennial organizer OPP Constable Stacey Cooper who is extremely busy with her work for the games.
Residents of Morrisburg should expect to hear police sirens ringing in the village from about 9:30 a.m. when the run starts at MPS until approximately 10 a.m. when they reach Subway where they will greeted with a complimentary lunch in support of the games.
OPP officers will accompany the grade six class and will have buckets available to collect donations along the route.
However, the main reason for the run, and a similar run that will take place in Winchester later in the day, is to promote awareness of Special Olympics.
Also joining the MPS runners to promote the games will be Special Olympian, Christina Judd-Campbell of Chesterville who last spring finished first overall in the Special Olympics World Summer Games held July 1-3 in Athens, Greece. Along with the overall gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics, Christina won three individual gold medals and a silver during the games.
A graduate of Seaway District High School, Christina is a world-class athlete.
The upcoming Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Spring Games in Kingston is expected to attract some 800 plus athletes, coaches and volunteers who will participate in six sporting events.
Special Olympics has enjoyed a longtime partnership with law enforcement agencies across Ontario and the Law Enforcement Torch Run involves law enforcement personnel participating in a community-based province-wide program.
This week will see torch runs in Hawkesbury, Alexandria, Sudbury, Akwesasne, Brockville, Ottawas, Guelph and Belleville to name just a few.
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The 1st Special Olympics were held in 1968, in Chicago. The Special Olympics World Games are held every two years, alternating between summer and winter games.