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UGDSB Students Unite for 2023 Special Olympics

20th Special Olympics Track & Field in Guelph on May 15th

The 20th Anniversary of the Special Olympics Track and Field Day in the County of Wellington will be hosted on May 15, 2024, at St. James Catholic High School in Guelph.

Over 700 athletes of all ages and peer coaches from 60 schools will compete in several track and field and adaptive events.

“We are so excited to welcome participants from both Wellington Catholic District School Board and Upper Grand District School Board to St. James CHS in May,” said Nicole Hearn, WCDSB special education resource teacher and event committee member. “This year our motto is ‘20 Years of Endless Inspiration,’ it is an extraordinary accomplishment to be at this point and we cannot wait to celebrate two decades of this event within Wellington County.”

UGDSB Students Unite for 2023 Special Olympics

This event, which sees students of all ages, is a partnership between Wellington Catholic District School Board, Upper Grand District School Board, Ontario Special Olympics, Community Living Guelph/Wellington, Guelph Police and the City of Guelph.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating our 20th year of hosting this Special Olympics Track and Field Day. This is a favourite day for students, staff and the community,” shared Michelle Kearley, UGDSB Special Olympics committee member. “I would like to recognize three very dedicated people who have been part of the Opening ceremonies for many years. Thank you to Kara Shaw, our pianist, Peter Hummel, our Piper and Godfrey McNamee and the Pigeon Club. Also, we are honoured that two members of the original committee, who started this event, will be joining us May 15th. Sonja Holmes and Steve Redmond will be acting as Honorary Marshalls!”

Participants will compete in 50m, 100m and 200m races, standing/running long jump, and softball throw, as well as adaptive events for those with physical challenges which include obstacle course, basketball shooting, they shoot/they score, T-ball, Popbottle bowling and a 40m walk/run.

UGDSB Students Unite for 2023 Special Olympics

The event brings student-athletes from all parts of Wellington and Dufferin Counties together to provide an opportunity to build new friendships as well as renew old ones.

“Although the top athletes will be recognized for their efforts in the different events, everyone comes away feeling like a winner! I know our WCDSB representatives have been practicing lots and are looking forward to showing off their ability at St. James CHS,” said Hearn. “Student-athletes take pride in demonstrating skills and representing their schools, the goal of the day is to provide everyone with an opportunity to do just that.”

“20 years of gathering together! Our teachers, educational assistants and students work so hard to prepare for this day and we are so thankful for the hours of prep and organization from our Special Olympics volunteers and community who come together to support, plan and organize!” shared Erin Leslie, UGDSB Special Olympics track and field committee member.

UGDSB Students Unite for 2023 Special Olympics

Well over one hundred volunteers make this day possible, including a planning committee which consists of representatives from the Upper Grand District School Board, Wellington Catholic District School Board, Special Olympics Ontario, Community Agencies and volunteers.

“Best of luck to everyone! Have fun, and remember, ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt!” continued UGDSB’s Leslie.

The opening ceremony will start at 10 a.m. at St. James CHS, all are welcome to attend and cheer on the student-athletes.


Quick Facts

2023-2024 Track and Field Special Olympics will take place on May 15, 2024, with a rain date of May 16, 2024, at St. James Catholic High School located at 57 Victoria Road North in Guelph.

The opening ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. with speakers addressing athletes, a special recognition through the reciting of the Special Olympics’ athletic oath and torch run.

Participating Schools:

  • Aberfoyle P.S.
  • Ariss Place
  • Arthur P.S.
  • Arbour Vista P.S.
  • Cedar Heights Centennial C.V.I.
  • Centre Peel P.S.
  • Centre Dufferin D.H.S.
  • Centre Wellington D.H.S.
  • College Heights S.S.
  • Credit Meadows E.S.
  • Elora P.S.
  • Erin P.S.
  • Guelph C.V.I.
  • Island Lake P.S.
  • John F. Ross C.V.I.
  • John Galt P.S.
  • June Avenue. P.S.
  • Ken Danby P.S.
    Kortright Hills P.S.
  • Minto-Clifford P.S.
  • Mitchell Woods P.S.
  • Montgomery Village P.S.
  • Norwell District S.S.
  • Orangeville District S.S.
  • Ponsonby P.S.
  • Priory Park P.S.
  • Rickson Ridge P.S.
  • Rockwood Centennial P.S.
  • Ross R Mackay P.S.
  • Sir Isaac Brock P.S.
  • Taylor Evans P.S.
  • Victoria Cross P.S.
  • Victoria Terrace P.S.
  • Waverley Drive P.S.
  • Westwood P.S.
  • Willow Road P.S.
  • Bishop MacDonnell CHS
  • Holy Rosary CS
  • Holy Trinity CS
  • Mary Phelan CS
  • Our Lady of Lourdes CHS
  • Sacred Heart CS
  • Francis of Assisi CS
  • James CHS
  • John (Arthur) CS
  • John Bosco CHS
  • John Brebeuf CS
  • John (Guelph) CS
  • Joseph (Fergus) CS
  • Joseph (Guelph) CS
  • Mary (Mount Forest) CS
  • Mary (Elora) CS
  • Michael CS
  • Patrick CS
  • Paul CS
  • Peter CS

For a schedule of events please reach out to Ali Lupal, alison.lupal@wellingtoncdsb.ca.

For more information and to attend please contact:
Megan Sicoli, Administrative Officer – Communications
Upper Grand District School Board

Related: 2023 Special Olympics Event

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