Island pride

P.E.I. sending largest team ever to a Special Olympics National Games

Jason Simmonds
Published on July 4, 2014

CHARLOTTETOWN – Months of hard work and preparation by Special Olympians across the country will be realized next week.

The Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games will take place in Vancouver, B.C., from July 8 to 12, and serve as a qualifier for the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles.

“They are such an amazing experience,” said Special Olympics P.E.I. executive director and Team P.E.I. chef de mission Charity Sheehan. “When we have new coaches come on our team I try to explain what is going to happen. But it’s one of those things you have to experience, and everybody experiences it so differently.

“The little things that happen, the funny stories, the moving moments that happen throughout the Games are unbelievably incredible.”

P.E.I. will send its largest-ever team to a Special Olympics Canada competition. The 61-member contingent consists of 43 athletes, 13 coaches and five mission staff.

“We are super excited about this team,” said Sheehan. “Our team is literally from tip to tip.”

Different sports

Team P.E.I., which is scheduled to leave on Sunday, will compete in eight different sports – tenpin bowling, fivepin bowling, athletics, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and powerlifting.

This is the first time golf and powerlifting will be part of the National Summer Games, and soccer is returning for the first time since 2002. Sheehan coached Team P.E.I.’s soccer team that year.

“The soccer team was just a phenomenal group of individuals,” explained Sheehan. “We were in such a tough, tough division, but all they could do is thank you.

“You were feeling bad because they didn’t win or get to where you thought they might get, but they were just so unbelievably grateful for what you did. Those are some of the moments I carry with me, and make Special Olympics so near and dear to my heart.”


The Team P.E.I. rosters were selected a year ago. From there, all of the team members entered into a provincial team-training program.

“It’s like a training contract,” explained Sheehan. “They had to compete and train a certain number days a week. They had to train three days a week, and had different competitions throughout the year as well as focusing on nutritional training, sport sciences and things like that.

“All the team members have been on board right from the beginning, and have been working really hard with our coaches and some other outside influences. They are all getting really excited because we are less than a week away.

“They are looking forward to competing next week, and put all that preparation into action.”

Sheehan said one misconception is that Special Olympians do not care if they win or lose.

 “We absolutely have athletes like that on the team, but if you talk to some other athletes they care, they care a whole lot,” emphasized Sheehan. “They want to do very well.”

Did You Know?

Overall, almost 500 athletes from across the province compete in 18 different sports and recreational programs offered by Special Olympics P.E.I.

“We are always looking to expand and get younger athletes involved and still meet the needs of our athletes in our traditional programs as well,” added Special Olympics P.E.I. executive director Charity Sheehan.

Team P.E.I.

Team P.E.I. roster for Special Olympics

Canada 2014 Summer Games:

Tenpin Bowling

Wayne Dyment, Summerside

Paul Phillips, Summerside

Kevin Ramsay, Tyne Valley

Jenna Smith, Ellerslie-Bideford


Ann Kilby, Tyne Valley

Fivepin Bowling

Caitlyn Barlow, Kensington

Jo-Anne Doiron, Souris

Jennifer Hickox, Charlottetown

Bobbie-Jean MacEachern, Charlottetown

Donna Pyke, Charlottetown


Ricky Burns, Charlottetown


Terri Cudmore, Charlottetown

John Paynter, Freetown

Jamie Trowsdale, Charlottetown

Jeremy Wall, Summerside


Jodi Harper, Harrington


Heidi Mallett, Alberton


Jamie Matheson, Montague


Scott Brousseau, Montague

Rhonda Fall, Georgetown

James Larter, Georgetown

Jason MacCormack, Belfast

Sarah MacDonald, Little Pond

Shelby McInnis, Souris

Alan Murray, Souris

John Rafuse, Montague

Callie Wood, Montague

Alyssa Chapman, Murray Harbour


Kyle McGuirk, Vernon River

Lori Byers, Montague

Terry Nabuurs, Cardigan


Billy Acorn, Brackley

Jerred Affleck, York

Glendon Arsenault, Summerside

Lisa Bernard, Charlottetown

Cedric Gallant, Charlottetown

John Anthony Laybolt, Charlottetown

Tommy MacGuigan, Charlottetown

Wallace MacMaster, Charlottetown

Chris MacPherson, Charlottetown

Derek McDonald, Bonshaw

Brian McNab, Charlottetown

Shawn Mitchell, Charlottetown

Aaron Myers, Charlottetown

Greg St. John, Charlottetown


Allan Stewart, Hunter River

Jamie Henry, Charlottetown

Richard Douillette, Charlottetown

Judy Gallant, Charlottetown


Sarah Halman, Charlottetown

Ellen MacNearney, Montague

Roy Paynter, Kensington

Amie Sullivan, Lower Montague


Sarah Paynter, Kensington


Kolton Doucette, Wellington


Ross MacIntosh, Westville, N.S.


Charity Sheehan, Covehead

Team Manager

Genna Phelan, Charlottetown

Mission Staff

CY Holland, Stratford

Janet Bradshaw, Summerside

Michele Chapman, Murray Harbour