September 23, 2018 6:46 pm

Motionball bigger than ever as funds raised for Manitoba Special Olympics athletes

Fun and competition for a worthy cause as participants team up with Special Olympics Manitoba athletes to raise funds for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation. Global's Kevin Hirschfield reports.

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More than 600 people and 60 teams gathered to participate in a marathon of sport Sunday.

Motionball raised funds for Special Olympics Manitoba and featured teams competing in a wide variety of sports.

Each squad included a Manitoba Special Olympics athlete.

Dave Friesen said the event helps send him and his teammates to events across Canada. Friesen is coming off a gold medal basketball win with Team Manitoba at last month’s Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Nova Scotia.

“It was amazing,” Friesen said. “Four years ago, we brought home silver, but this year it was our turn to win gold.”

Special Olympics Manitoba athlete Dave Friesen, right, shows off his gold medal won at the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games.

Submitted photo

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While basketball wasn’t part of the lineup Sunday, Friesen was still able to try out a number of other sports, along with 60 other Special Olympics athletes.

“I love it, the more competition, the better,” he said. “All proceeds go to athletes like me and my teammates and we get to travel for nationals and provincials.”

Related: Special Olympics swimming boss coach of the month

Motionball raised $80,000 in 2017 and organizers were hoping to smash that total this time around.

“It really does show the power of sport,” Jennifer Campbell, Special Olympics Manitoba President & CEO said.

“It doesn’t matter what your abilities are, you come out play have a good time, and it means a lot for our athletes, to compete against everybody else, just like everybody else.”

There are more than 1,700 Special Olympics athletes in Manitoba, competing in 18 different sports.

Friesen was one of around 100 who took part in the national event this summer where Manitoba brought home 66 medals, including 17 gold.

 

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