Special Olympians joined local athletes for a day of fun and games at Kelowna’s City Park.
The goal was to raise more than $100,000 for Special Olympics Canada through the Motionball fundraiser.
“It allows our athletes to travel around the world. It allows them to get front-end, top-end equipment, to have these experiences that otherwise they wouldn’t,” said Susan Foisy, a spokesperson for Special Olympics Kelowna.
Nearly 30 teams participated in the event, and each team had a mix of people with varying intellectual abilities.
Human foosball, beach volleyball, soccer, Jenga and basketball were just some of the activities.
“It’s so good for our generic athletes to be able to see that these athletes are just like them,” Foisy said.
Motionball expands social circles and is key in breaking down barriers, she added.
“Our athletes have experienced abuse and bullying and isolation as a result of their intellectual disability,” Foisy said.
Through such events, however, Special Olympians are able to dispel misconceptions and negative stereotypes about people with different intellectual abilities.
“So many of these athletes want everybody to know that the ‘r’ word needs to be taken out of our vocabulary,” she added.
More than 800,000 Canadians have an intellectual disability.
Motionball has held more than 30 annual events nationwide, raising over $9 million to date.