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2019 Inductees

INDUCTEE 2019 - Team - Wetaskiwin Warlords


Presentation Speech  by  Don McMillan

Good evening. It is my pleasure to welcome into the Wetaskiwin Sports Hall of Fame the Wetaskiwin Warlords Special Olympics Slow Pitch Softball team in the Team Category for 2019.

Blaine Fuller, who has been fundraiser, manager and coach for Special Olympics since its inception in Wetaskiwin, will be speaking on behalf of the team tonight.  It speaks to his dedication that this year marks the 30th anniversary of Special Olympics in Wetaskiwin.

The Warlords, as part of this organization for 3 years, represented our province in the Canadian Special Olympics held in Surrey, B.C. in 1998. They learned to overcome obstacles, come together as a team to achieve excellence in their love of sport. I leave Blaine to tell the team stories, so that I can tell you a bit about the Special Olympic Organization.

There are over 100 communities involved in various sports and over 3000 participants in Alberta. To be a participant on the mixed gender teams, athletes must be 12 years or older. In any international competitions they must be 14 years of age.  The players must also be registered as having some intellectual disability.  Sports range from floor hockey, softball, bocce, curling, soccer, and track and field, just to mention a few.

Special Olympics is a provincial program, with some funding at provincial championship levels, but activities are run strictly by volunteers in the local community. It takes many volunteers willing to commit their free time. Athletes are usually on fixed incomes, making it hard to run programs without fundraising activities such as bingos, bottle drives, etc. Blaine figures he’d be a millionaire by now with all the money the volunteers and teams raised over the years.

Programs are played in various venues in town.  The city and Wetaskiwin schools make their facilities available at little or no cost, which is greatly appreciated by volunteers and players.  There is payback for the use of the gym at Queen E when the teams raise funds to support programs such as “Feed the Student Lunches. “

Athletes compete in both summer and winter games held in various towns and cities throughout the province.  Just this last February, Calgary hosted the Winter Special Olympics.

If you haven’t already heard this news, Wetaskiwin won the curling event and will now represent Alberta in the National Championships being held in Thunder Bay in 2020.

The Sports Hall of Fame is an inclusive organization that has honoured many athletes and many different sports. We are pleased to honour and celebrate the achievements of the Warlords Slo-Pitch Team in the team category for 2019. 

Blaine Fuller, would you please help the team come forward as I call their names. Chris Hardy will be presenting the team award on behalf of the Sports Hall of Fame.

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