Special Olympics athletes take over Nipawin’s Evergreen for memorable day

Special Olympic athletes had their annual golf tournament in Nipawin on June 16.

This past weekend at the Evergreen Golf Course in Nipawin the local Special Olympics athletes collected prizes and shared smiles during their annual tournament.

The event is held every year in the Saturday before Father’s Day. This year 17 people took part, all from Nipawin except for one golfer who travelled from Tisdale. In the past athletes from La Ronge, Price Albert, and Regina. The Special O golf program holds one-hour practices during the week every spring. Nipawin Special O board member Ren Lukoni volunteered at the tournament. She said the event is a highlight for their athletes every year.

“This event is a great boost in morale for our athletes as they enjoy the sport and the other golfers. The athletes are so supportive with each other and lots of high fives are given after great shots as well as many words of encouragement after a not so great shot. It’s all positive,” she said.

Lukoni said the event is great for their athletes because golf allows anyone to enjoy the game despite varied skill levels. She said the athletes also enjoy the tournament because it is different from the weekly practices.

“Our athletes love this tournament because they get the opportunity to play rather than just practicing skills. We have athletes of all age and ability levels. That’s why they like golf; they know that all can play regardless of ability. It can be recreational or more competitive and that’s okay,” Lukoni said.

The coaches of this year’s Special O spring golf program were Betty Blue and Jean Miskiman, Tim and Lynn Verklan and Tina Haluke also assisted during the practices.