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VIDEO: Student athletes from Surrey high schools compete at special meet

‘They get to unleash the human spirit through the power and joy of sport’

The overcast skies didn’t dampen the spirits of the more than 300 student athletes who competed at a track meet at South Surrey Athletic Park on Wednesday (May 24).

Featuring students with intellectual disabilities from all 21 high schools in Surrey, the event opened with a land acknowledgment and warm-up before the students competed in several events, ranging from 60- and 150-metre sprints to field events including a maze, softball throw, frisbee toss, bocce ball and soccer, among other events, and a 4x60M relay race.

“It’s an opportunity for our students to represent their schools as an athlete for as day,” explained Surrey Secondary Special Track Meet co-ordinator and North Surrey Secondary counsellor Carmie Vairo.

“They get to wear their school’s jersey and participate in competing for their school, against students from other schools.”

Vairo noted the meet is modelled after Special Olympics Canada, perhaps one of the most well-known sports organizations for people with intellectual disabilities.

READ ALSO: Special Olympics Canada athletes gearing up for World Summer Games

“They get to unleash the human spirit through the power and joy of sport.”

The event has been happening annually for seven years – albeit with the usual COVID break most sports and events experienced – with this year being the first time all 21 high schools in Surrey participated, said Vairo.

While other students in the city may get to compete in a variety of track meets or other sports, for many at the Special Track Meet, it’s the only time they get to shine athletically all year, she said.

“It’s only one day for them… it’s a real highlight.”


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tricia.weel@peacearchnews.com

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Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’ve worked as a journalist in community newspapers from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey.
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