It was the first time it had ever rained during the Delta portion of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, but it didn’t wipe the smiles off the faces of the athletes.
On Friday, June 8, around 40 police officers and Special Olympians ran through Ladner to raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics.
“It’s just about raising the awareness,” said Insp. Debra McLeod. She’s a member of the Delta police department, and a key figure in the local Law Enforcement Torch Run for the last 22 years. “It’s just as important as raising the money, so people are aware of what Special Olympics is.”
She started with the torch run because she liked running.
“And then I just got the fever because of the personal connection with the athletes from Special Olympics,” she said.”
Delta’s medal-winning Kim Davies is one of those athletes. She carried the torch through the half-hour run, and also ran in the three other days of the Lower Mainland leg, going through 13 cities in total.
The international run first came to B.C. in 1990, and since then has raised nearly $3 million for the Special Olympics. This year alone, the Delta police raised $10,000 for the Special Olympics and Delta’s approximately 80 athletes.
Sponsorships for four Delta athletes were also announced at the torch run. These athletes will be representing Team B.C. at the 2018 Summer Games in Nova Scotia.
Becki Allen and Tiana Kirkegaard will be competing in rhythmic gymnastics at the summer games. Kirkegaard received a $1,500 sponsorship from the Delta Fire Department and Allen received a $1,000 sponsorship from the Ladner Legion.
Kurtis Reid, competing in athletics, got a $1,500 sponsorship from the Delta Police Association. Surrey resident Stacey Kohler was also on the list of “Delta” athletes — she was given a $1,000 sponsorship from Seth Allen of Raymond Jones.
“Stacey is actually a Surrey athlete, but that doesn’t matter, she used to be a Delta one,” McLeod said. “We just always sponsor her because she’s part of our family.”
The 2018 Special Olympics Summer Games will take place in Antigonish, N.S., from July 31 to Aug. 4.