Peter Brass to Compete in 2014 Special Olympics

Submitted by:
Shirley Todosichuk

By Tara Gray
This article is re-published with permission from the Swan Valley Star and Times

One of two athletes who will be representing the Parkland on the Special Olympics Manitoba (SOM) 5 pin bowling team is Peter Brass, who has qualified to compete in Vancouver at the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games to be held in Vancouver from July 8 to 12.

“I’m kind of nervous (about going to Vancouver),” said Brass, who has never been as far away from home as the games will take him.

The opportunity for Brass to become a Special Olympian began six years ago, when June Mosiondz, SOM 5 pin team head coach, started the Tigers bowling team at the high school level. “Sport did a lot for me growing up and thought it would be an awesome way to give back,” said Mosiondz, recalling what she thought of the idea after SOM representative Colleen Lowdon-Bula planted the seeds of an idea with her presentation to some of the SVRSS staff. “At the time there was no bowling alley open in Swan River,” Mosiondz explained. “The SVRSS and I started on a small scale with some snowshoeing during February and March for students with intellectual disabilities.” The snowshoeing was a part of the students’ physical education class, but more opportunity struck when a bowling alley opened in town.

“The Up Your Alley Bowling Center opened up and I started the Tigers’ 5 Pin Bowling,” Mosiondz said. “I’ve now been bowling for six years,” added Brass, who began his involvement with the sport with the Tigers bowling team. “I like it.”

Brass is currently a member of the Cobras 5 pin bowling team, another SOM sanctioned group which was started five years ago by Wade Dale and Doreen Miles, and has been the springboard for Brass’ leap into the Special Olympics. Brass walked away from a qualifier held in Winnipeg at the end of April with a gold medal, which gave him the opportunity to accept a place on the SOM 5 pin bowling team which will be heading out to Vancouver.It will be a big trip for Brass, who will leave his hometown Up Your Alley Bowling Center in Swan River to knock down some pins at The Zone Bowling Centre in Richmond, BC during the competition, which will be exciting for Brass. “I’m going to see new people and new places (in Vancouver),” he said, looking forward to seeing the city while he’s in town to bowl.

With the advice of SOM professionals on nutrition, exercise, and mental training, Brass is working hard under the guidance of Mosiondz to get ready for the games. “I bowl two times a week (to practice),” he said, which is done along with floor hockey, walking, and healthy eating to prepare. Brass, along with fellow Cobra teammates, has not only been working hard to hone his skills, he’s been fundraising to reach his goal of $1,500, which he needs to cover his travel expenses for the games. He has been known to stop in at coffee houses with teammates for impromptu 50/50 draws to help raise money. Although there are a few dollars left to raise, the team is confident that they’ll get the funding put together to have a great time in Vancouver, and if all goes well, hopefully come home with a prize. “It would feel like I’m a champion (if I win a medal),” said Brass, who is looking forward to what will be the biggest sporting event of his life.

If you would like to help send the Parkland’s SOM athletes Peter Brass and Angie Ferland to the games, donations can be made at the Swan Valley Credit Union in care of Special Olympics Manitoba Parkland Region, or can also be mailed to Special Olympics Manitoba Parkland Region, Comp 10, RR 2, Swan River, MB R0L 1Z0. Please make cheques payable to Special Olympics Manitoba Parkland Region.

Also, be sure to keep your eye out for future fundraising events that will be happening in the Valley to help send our athletes to the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games.