Great Special Olympics Bocce Tournament Despite Rain

Pictured above: Rick Wowchuk attended the Bocce tournament to wish Team Toba well. L-R Helena Dyck, Rick Wowchuk, Ricky Zimmer, Phillip Bialk and Team Toba Bocce Coach Joe Grande

Submitted by: Shirley Todosichuk | Special Olympics Manitoba Parkland Region hosted its first Bocce Tournament on Saturday, June 2, 2018 which was to be held at the bocce pitches at Legion Park. Due to the rainy forecast local Bocce Coach and Regional Team Leader Bev Lumax worked tirelessly on Friday to find a structure large enough to accommodate the 60’ x 12’ bocce pitches. Luckily, Bev Leach had a riding arena that was able to be cleaned out with the help of neighbours and the Bocce Tournament went on as scheduled at the Leach property North of Swan River.

A total of 24 veterans and rookies competed in the tournament and showed off their skills. 18 Winkler Wizzards, including Helena Dyck, one of the female Bocce Athletes chosen to participate on Team Manitoba drove up from the Southern part of the province to attend the tournament. Also Team Manitoba Bocce Athlete Phillip Bialk and Team Manitoba Bocce Head Coach Joe Grande made the road trip together from Winnipeg. Our local Bocce Athletes; Erin Seib, Graeme Sloane, Nicholas Sloan, Andrew Brass and Ricky Zimmer (also Team Manitoba Bocce Athlete) were wonderful hosts and despite the rain were focused on having fun and playing their best.

Pictured above: Visiting Bocce Club the Winkler Wizzards

Ricky Zimmer, Helena Dyck and Phillip Bialk, 3 of the 4 athletes on Team Manitoba are going to the Special Olympics Canada National Games in Antigonish, Nova Scotia to compete in Bocce from July 31st-August 4th 2018. This tournament was excellent practice in preparation for the 2018 National Games and it was good to get some tough competition under their belts.

After the morning session the Royal Purple Elks Lodge Ladies provided a delicious hamburger lunch at ACL and the athletes had a chance to warm up and refuel for the afternoon sessions.

Our Parkland Region Fireballs Bocce Club did very well in their divisions:

Pictured above: Division #1 Third Helena Dyck, 1st Brian Gerbrandt, 2nd Ricky Zimmer

Pictured above: Division #2 Third Graeme Sloan, 1st Judy Derksen, 2nd Erin Seib

Pictured above: Division #3 Third Andrew Brass, 1st Nicko Friessen, 3rd Steve Klassen

A Very Big Thank You to all the people who pulled together to organize our very first successful Special Olympics Parkland Region Bocce Tournament in spite of the rain!

Bev Leach
Wilbert Schoenrath
Bruce Schoenrath
Rob Buchanan
Dale Boychuk
Royal Purple Elks
Flaman Sales, Rentals & Fitness Swan River
Valley Water and Septic Service
Town of Swan River
Rec Dept

All of our Volunteers and those who did the scoring and officiating; Stephen Sloane, Pat Boyko, Sylvia Hnatiuk, Rod Seib, McKenna Lumax, Jay Todosichuk

Our visiting teams and coaches; Winkler Wizzards, Team Toba Bocce Athletes and Team Toba Head Coach Joe Grande