Prison hosts annual Special Olympics event

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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SPRINGHILL Some wear red shirts and some wear blue, but on this day they are all together.

Prison hosts annual Special Olympics event

SPRINGHILL Some wear red shirts and some wear blue, but on this day they are all together.

The Springhill Institution hosted its annual Special Olympics day of activities yesterday for 86 residents and clients from facilities such as the Sunset Community in Pugwash, Golden Opportunities Vocational Rehabilitation Centre (GOVRC) in Springhill and the Amherst Bridge Workshop.

Were really just there to make them happy, said Gordie Zwicker, chairman of the institutions inmate committee and one of 28 inmates volunteering to help out with the days activities. Its an honour to work with them, so we can help in the community in certain ways. Its great to see them happy, with smiles on their faces.

Split up into teams, the participants moved around the large gymnasium and courtyard outside to stations manned by inmates and set up for various activities including beanbag toss, noodle toss, mini putt, arts and crafts, soccer bowling, walk relay and t-ball. A new feature this year was musical entertainment, as inmates Harold McNeil, Jonathan Davis and Bruno Hache put on a show for the visitors with guitars and a fiddle.

Sunset client Mark Duggan was among the many enjoying the music, and knew every song the trio played.

I like coming back each year for the activities, he said. I see people I knew from before, like Skippy, and the list goes on and on. Thats part of it.

The idea of the event is not only to help the visiting clients, but also to help the inmates with the interaction, according to Terry Crowe, a social program officer at the institution.

The fact is you get to see the inmates in a different light when theyre working with the clients, he said. Its like all barriers are dropped.

awagstaff@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Special Olympics, Golden Opportunities Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, Springhill Institution Sunset Community Amherst Bridge Workshop

Geographic location: SPRINGHILL, Pugwash

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