National Games

National Games

From July 30 to August 5, 900 athletes and 290 coaches descended on Antigonish, Nova Scotia for the 2018 Special Olympics National Summer - and I was blessed to be one of them!

In April, a last-minute chance to coach Team Ontario came up and I jumped on it. I’ve coached Special Olympics Basketball for six years, but training along-side a team & coaching staff that I had never met before was challenging. We were forced to learn about one another’s personalities & gifts very quickly. (Fun fact: I love running & push-ups. My team wasn’t as keen on this side of my personality.)

Before we knew it, we were off to Antigonish! There was more much learning about one another to be done on the road and on the court over those few days, but they were some of the best that I have experienced. We made the most of our time on and off the court, from playing life-sized Jenga to eating (or “ewwwing” at) mussels on the Gulf of the St. Lawrence to trading pins and meeting friends from across the country.

The cherry on top: We won gold. I could not be more proud of these young men for their abilities and the work that they put in to reach this level of success. Even more so, I am grateful that I can now call them friends.

Camille Gardiner,
Reporting Manager, Christian Horizons