Sport

‘Making sure everyone feels included’: Kelowna’s Motionball Marathon raising money for Special Olympics

Teams have been competing for weeks for the chance to take part in Kelowna’s marathon of sports, from playing volleyball to flag football to kickball to road hockey.

Proceeds from Saturday’s event are going to the Special Olympics.

“We’re raising funds to make sure the Special Olympics movement continues for as long as possible,” said Erica Marshall of Motionball Marathon, “and as many people can participate.”

Marshall said the event is comprised of teams of 10, and that at least one Special Olympian is on every team.

“I like all sports — hockey, ice hockey and all the different sports,” said Special Olympian Parker Begg, who also took part in the event last year.

In Kelowna, more than 200 athletes participate in Special Olympics sports programs.

“He stays active, obviously. It’s great for his health and he learns how to be a good teammate,” said Jeff Begg, Parker’s dad. “And he absolutely loves being successful in all these different activities.”

Funds raised from the event will help Special OIympic athletes cover costs for travel expenses and equipment.

Last year, Kelowna’s Motionball Marathon raised $125,000, and organizers are hoping to top that this year.

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All teams who take part raise funds prior to the event, though donating online is also available.

“It’s all about making sure everyone feels included, and they’re playing alongside those directly impacted by the funds raised,” said Marshall, “so it’s really great.

“The athletes look forward to this event every year. Lives are changed at this event. It’s an opportunity for them to feel included, as a part of the team. To be a part of sports, and team sports, to be included and connected to community, it makes all the difference in the world.

“This event is not only a lot of fun, you get that feeling being here. And all of the funds raised help make sure these participants, and these athletes, can continue with their dreams and realize their dreams.”

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