The organizers of Special Olympics P.E.I roster this summer has added bocce ball and rhythmic gymnastics in an effort to attract more participants

According to executive director Charity Sheehan, the group is also aiming to attract younger individuals to try the sports mentioned earlier.

“We have a good core group that are 21-plus. And then we’ve been building the youth program under 12. So that 13 to 21-year-olds is really where we’re targeting,” Sheehan stated.

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The Special Olympics P.E.I introduced the bocce ball and rhythmic gymnastics in order to boost its appeal for younger participants, particularly those who are in the 13 to 21-year-old age range.

“We want to provide new opportunities. We want to try to attract new athletes, new competitive opportunities and just kind of keep people involved. Keep things fresh by offering a new sport and we’re hoping to renew some interest,” Sarah Profitt stated.

Sarah mentioned that she is hopeful that the new gymnasts will be prepared to compete in Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in 2018.

Sarah Profitt is currently working for Special Olympics and also coaches the rhythmic gymnastics program.

There are more than 20 participants in the bocce ball program. The participants gather at Joe Ghiz Park in Charlottetown on a weekly basis, and they are scheduled to hold their first tournament this September with competitors from Alberton and Charlottetown.

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“Everybody seems to have a really good time when they come out and it’s a really social event,” said coach Carole-Ann French. “We’re attracting mostly our bowlers that we have during the winter.” She further stated.

Sheehan said that the Special Olympics P.E.I is hoping to include basketball program this fall, a sport that they have previously offered.

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