The Simcoe Seals, the Special Olympics Swim Team in Simcoe, are a group consisting of 40 swimmers and 10 coaches. They’ve had swimmers go to Provincial, National and World games, training four times a week at the local facility. Heading into 2021, the swim fees at this rec centre were increased, posing a financial obstacle for the organization. In 2020, they had 12 swimmers qualified and ready for Provincials, which was cancelled due to Covid-19. On top of this, now there was a high chance that the 2021 season wouldn’t happen because of the increased fees.
Vanden Bussche Irrigation President, Marc Vanden Bussche, saw this as an opportunity to give back to the local community, and wanted to make sure the team was able to pay the swim fees at the rec centre and participate in the 2021 season (once Covid safe). A donation was made to the Simcoe Seals on behalf of Marc that covered the facility swim fees, ensuring the Seals will be able to have the 2021 season they most certainly deserve.
The Special Olympics ‘athletes’ oath’ is “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” The Simcoe Seals will now be able to participate in another swim season, ultimately providing them this opportunity to be brave in the pursuit of winning! Head Coach, Shirley Shaw, is extremely grateful and can’t wait to get back to work at the pool once Covid restrictions lift!