Special Olympics event to showcase student athletes

3v3 basketball tourney growing in popularity

Nine teams are expected to participate in the annual Special Olympics three-on-three basketball tournament April 26 at Isfeld Secondary. File photo

For the second straight year, Isfeld Secondary is hosting a Special Olympics three-on-three basketball tournament that celebrates student-athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Organizers of the annual event expect nine teams from five schools will hit the floor on Friday, April 26.

“The event has grown in popularity since we ran our first tournament in 2017 (at Vanier),” said Isfeld work experience co-ordinator Randy James, who is organizing the tournament and who co-ordinates Special Olympics in the Comox Valley. “We have heard nothing but positive feedback from the student athletes, coaches, parents and the spectators who come out to watch the games.”

The host school will have two teams competing, under the guidance of coach Kari Bennett, a lifeskills teacher at Isfeld.

“Mary Griffith, Gayle Smith and Amanda Campbell are my wonderful assistants,” Bennett said.

Vanier Secondary, Ballenas Secondary of Parksville and Alberni District Secondary School are also expected to field two teams, while Nanaimo Secondary will have one team competing.

“Staff at the school have been very supportive of the event and encouraged their classes to watch the games in the gym,” James said. “The athletes are excited to showcase their skills and I have noticed improvement in their skill level as compared to when they first began practising in 2016.”

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