It’s the moment the Halton Hills Guardians have been waiting for.
The local Special Olympics basketball team is gearing up to host its first tournament on March 25 in Georgetown, giving the players a chance to show off the skills they’ve been developing. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Christ The King Catholic Secondary School. Everyone is welcome.
"Our tournament is a great way for the community to get involved in our Special Olympics - spreading the word of who we are, and that we're representing Halton Hills." said team founder and manager Lisa Reid.
The coed Guardians have been going strong for four years with 23 athletes from across Halton Hills who all have some form of an intellectual disability.
They’re supported by a group of coaches and volunteers who guide them through the sport that not only keeps them physically active, but bolsters their confidence, social skills and independence.
Reid and her husband Rob - who was born and raised in Georgetown - started the team so that their son Liam would have the opportunity to play basketball. While they reside in Milton, its Special Olympics basketball team was full, so they decided to take matters into their own hands.
Reid said Liam was already swimming with the Halton Hills Waves Special Olympics club, so she floated the basketball idea with the swim team manager.
"I asked, ‘What do you think about a basketball team if my husband and I were willing to manage it?’” Reid recalled. “We talked about it for a couple years, then in 2019 we got started."
Clearly the couple made the right decision as Liam, along with the other players, are thoroughly enjoying their time on the court.
“I love shooting, and putting the ball in the net,” Liam said.
The team is part of Special Olympics Ontario - Halton Hills, which collectively has over 100 registered athletes and 80 volunteers.
The Guardians basketball team is open to athletes age 12 and older in Halton Hills. For further details, click here.