AMHERST - Special Olympics Amherst will be sending a strong contingent to the provincial Special Olympics beginning today at St. Mary's University in Halifax.
Seventeen athletes will represent Special Olympics Amherst in the track and field competition including Ryan Mootrey, Jason Rhindress, Savanna Snowden, Patricia Spicer, Michelle Jaguary, Jason Chappell, Mary Ann Belliveau and Jarrett Green of Amherst along with Lauren Davis, Matthew Porter, Brad Coady and Chrissy Stonehouse of Springhill.
Other members of the local track and field team include Joey Timmons, Harriet Barbour, Adrian Henderson, Huey Williams and Amy Dares of Pugwash.
The team is coached by Martha Saunders, Curt Speight and Steve White.
The soccer team, coached by Lisa Hines, Stu Colson and Susan Hoeg, includes players David Moore, Rebecca LeBlanc, Rebecca Sprague, Robert Babineau, John Hachey and Tim Bird of Amherst, David Teed and Vance Pye of Oxford and Terry Black of Springhill.
For the local athletes, this weekend's events represent the conclusion of weeks of training and preparation. It will also mark the end of Special Olympics for the summer months with the athletes resuming training for the winter program in October.
Last winter, Special Olympics Amherst won gold in floor hockey at the winter games.
Events at the 40th annual edition of the summer games include athletics, swimming, bowling, soccer, softball and powerlifting at SMU, the Dalplex, St. Francis Field, Windsor Park, Stadacona and 12 Wing Shearwater.
The official opening takes place tonight at 5 p.m. at St. Mary's University stadium with the games concluding on Sunday at 4 p.m.
The Nova Scotia athletes will be joined by those from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.