Athletes on Canadian team

Penticton athletes get chance to represent Canada in Special Olympics World Summer Games

Penticton athletes are on the roster Special Olympics Canada announced for its national team headed to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Jake Huff will compete in 10-pin bowling, while swimming athletes are Avery Newton and Amanda Schleppe. Margaret Burnell, Chad Conlon, Kevin Ellis and Lynden Hicks for bocce and they are joined by coach Dona Cade. This bocce team will be the first to represent Canada at a Special Olympics World Games.

“It’s phenomenal. Hopefully it’s not the last of a lifetime thing to happen because it is such a wonderful chance,” said Cade. “We’re all just tremendously proud to represent our country, to wear the maple leaf.”

What also excites the group is meeting different athletes from the 170 countries competing.

Cade said there is a lot of work ahead for the games, scheduled for July 25 to Aug. 2. Along with practices being organized, the athletes will be doing exercise and nutritional programs.

“They got their work cut out for them,” said Cade.

The athletes qualified through their performances at the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games in Vancouver.

Newton, who won five gold medals, was nervous when she got the letter.

“It’s my first time representing Canada,” she said.