Special Mini Olympics helps special students find friends through sport
TORONTO – On May 2 the Downsview Hangar hosted the Special Mini Olympics of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB).
The TCDSB and Best Buddies Canada hosted this one day event to foster a relationship between special needs students and other children through games and sports.
“Best Buddies Canada is probably one of the best things that ever happened to the Toronto Catholic District School Board,” said Lisa Tomeczek, Chair of the Special Mini Olympics. “The board-wide celebration of our special needs students allows them to showcase their talents, their abilities, their perspectives, their voice.”
The peer buddy system has helped two students at people like Leanne Gruppuso find friends like Sabrina Symonyi, both students at Michael Power St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School.
“Sabrina’s really special because we share a lot of interests so it was really easy for us to become friends,” Gruppuso said.
“Leanne likes to draw and she’s very beautiful. She’s kind and very nice,” said Simonyi.
Though the event is centered around various activities the event is a non-competitive initiative.
“Friendship is important. Especially for kids with intellectual disabilities. The Mini Olympics helps to give kids – not just today but any day a chance to be treated as equals,” said Steven Pinnock, executive director of Best Buddies Canada.
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