Annual fundraiser for Special Olympics held over the weekend at Bishop’s

Annual fundraiser for Special Olympics held over the weekend at Bishop’s

By Lawrence Belanger

Local Journalism Initiative


Bishop’s University hosted its annual “Marathon of Sport” over the weekend, a fundraiser to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics movement. Charley Wing, one of the event’s student organizers, described the event as a “day of fun-filled sports,” bringing together the university’s student body with local athletes with mental disabilities. In the marathon, local athletes with intellectual disabilities joined Bishop’s University student-athletes and other students for several sporting games last Saturday.

Wing, a 3rd-year neuroscience student with a minor in sports studies, got involved in the event to show “that those with intellectual disabilities can be active,” combating a common misconception amongst non-disabled people. “A lot of people don’t know what [the] special Olympics are,” explains Wing. “I really wanted to be able to help the Special Olympics community by raising awareness about what they do.”

The movement, although affiliated with the International Olympic Committee, does not hold yearly events like the IOC or Paralympics, but instead, Special Olympic events are held throughout the year. The event was organized by Motionball Bishop’s, the university’s affiliate with Motionball, a non-profit for the Special Olympics, which hosts social and sporting events throughout the year to introduce donors, volunteers, and sponsors to the Special Olympics. Motionball hosts Marathons of Sport, termed its “flagship event” by Wing, across cities and campuses in Canada organized locally by those such as Wing.

This year at Bishop’s has been particularly successful, something Wing praises the student body and her fellow co-directors for making possible. “I believe it’s the most participation from the student body ever. According to her, they had 10 teams, with “roughly 9 per team,” and the fundraiser has already blasted their yearly total past $10k, “and that’s with more fundraisers to go before the end of the semester.”

Although she’s been involved in the committee for each of her three years at Bishop’s, this was her first time in a director’s role and she is careful not to take sole credit. Wing says between all the effort that she and co-director Kyra Simons put in, plus the “whole committee put in, or without the rest of our community, there’s no way we’d have pulled off a successful event.”

Reached through email, Matt McBrine, Director of Athletics and Recreation, stated: “This was yet another great event and really well done by our student-athletes for such a great cause,” adding, “we had great participation from the campus community as well as our student-athletes…congrats to everyone on raising over $10,000.”

Motionball Bishop’s has, since September, held fundraising events in the lead-up to the marathon of sport. They held a dodgeball event and partnered with the Student Representative Council for a “Gait Night,” held at the on-campus venue of the same name.

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