It was a night of celebration and reflection as Special Olympics P.E.I. held its annual awards ceremony in Charlottetown recently.
Roy Paynter and Erin Pippy were announced as the 2018-19 athletes of the year. It was the second year in a row Paynter was presented with the male award.
Paynter, after a strong performance at the 2018 Special Olympics National Summer Games, was named to Team Canada for the 2019 World Special Olympics Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
Paynter displayed a strong work ethic on his road to the World Games as he continued to break personal-best times and expand his leadership skills. That hard work paid off as Paynter won four medals – two gold, one silver and one bronze – at the international competition.
Upon returning home, Paynter was busy participating in and serving as a parade marshal throughout Prince County. His hometown of Kensington recently named a park in his honour.
Pippy, who is from Charlottetown, loves participating for Special Olympics P.E.I. She was praised for always working hard and striving to improve her performance.
Pippy realized her goal of making Team P.E.I. in bowling this past year. She worked hard at her weekly practices to prepare for the bowling provincials, where she was unstoppable and posted the highest scores of her career.
Pippy was rewarded for her focus and hard work with selection to Team P.E.I.’s 2020 fivepin bowling team.
- List of 2018-19 Special Olympics P.E.I. awards:
- Department of Health and Wellness Sport Volunteer Award – Caitlin McKenna, Cardigan.
- Dr. Frank Hayden Award – James O’Halloran, Montague.
- ADL Spirit Award – Paul Phillips, Summerside.
- President’s Award – Dion Phaneuf.
- Facility of the year – Island Gymnastics Academy, Charlottetown.
- David Andrew Memorial Award – Steve and Lori Loggie, Charlottetown.
- Maritime Electric male coach of the year – Dave Morrow, Covehead.
- Maritime Electric female coach of the year – Sarah Paynter, Kensington.
- P.E.I. Mutual Insurance Co. male athlete of the year – Roy Paynter, Kensington.
- P.E.I. Mutual Insurance Co. female athlete of the year – Erin Pippy, Charlottetown.
Coaches of the year
It was a special night for the Paynter family as Roy’s mother, Sarah, was introduced as the female coach of the year.
She has been a Special Olympics P.E.I. swim coach for over 20 years and has extensive experience coaching swimming.
This past year, Sarah was named Roy’s training coach and pushed him to be his very best during the World Games.
Dave Morrow of Covehead is the male coach of the year.
Morrow coaches the competitive fivepin bowling program. He started out as a volunteer and stepped up to coach when the need was there.
The Charlottetown bowling program is the largest in terms of the number of athletes attending each year. Morrow greets every athlete by name when they arrive and a goodbye when they leave.
Morrow, who was recently named head coach for Team P.E.I.’s 2020 fivepin bowling team, was praised for understanding how important the organization is to all the athletes.
Paul Phillips of Summerside was presented with the prestigious ADL Spirit Award, which acknowledges an athlete who brings out the best in his or herself, fellow athletes and coaches through commitment, determination and humour.
Phillips participates in fivepin bowling, bocce and is the peer mentor for the Summerside athletics and soccer programs.
Phillips was praised for his hard work, willingness to help others and positive outlook on life and participation in Special Olympics.
David Andrew Memorial Award
Steve and Lori Loggie of Charlottetown were the recipients of the David Andrew Memorial Award, which honours the contributions of Special Olympics P.E.I. parents/guardians.
The Loggies are parents whose dedication to their daughter, Rachel, overflows to the Special Olympic movement and all athletes.
Over the years, Steve and Lori have rarely missed a competition that Rachel has been involved in. Not only are they there for Rachel, but they support the entire team, cheering and celebrating everyone’s accomplishments.
A lot of times after practices, they will make sure that everyone has a way home and will often offer to drive other athletes to where they are going.
Dion Phaneuf was named the recipient of the President’s Award, which acknowledges volunteers who have made a significant contribution to the Special Olympics movement locally, provincially and/or nationally and has best exemplified the spirit, philosophy and goals of Special Olympics P.E.I.
Phaneuf, who has a personal connection to Special Olympics as his nephew is an athlete, has really “adopted” the Special Olympics P.E.I. Festival. He has made it a priority event on his calendar and he works hard to raise its profile every year.
Although staying private about what he does for Special Olympics P.E.I., he prefers to stay out of the limelight and allow the athletes and organization to receive attention.
Through his network of connections, Phaneuf has grown the celebrity lineup. Celebrities, including him and his wife, Elisha, volunteer their time and donate auction items each year.
He has invited celebrities to stay at his home on P.E.I., saving Special Olympics P.E.I. the expense of accommodations and he has picked up his and the travel expenses of others.
- Click here for story on Roy Paynter reflecting on experience at 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games:
- Click here for story on Roy Paynter winning final two medals at 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games:
- Click here for story on Roy Paynter winning gold medal at 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games:
- Click here for story on Roy Paynter winning bronze medal at 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games:
- Click here for preview story with Roy Paynter ahead of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games:
Dr. Frank Hayden Award
James O’Halloran of Montague received the Dr. Frank Hayden Award.
Dr. Hayden began searching for ways to establish a national sports program for individuals with an intellectual disability. His research eventually led to the development of the Special Olympics movement and Dr. Hayden was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
O’Halloran is a grassroots athlete and participates in the Montague snowshoeing, swimming, soccer, golf and fitness programs. He also participated in a number of Kings County fundraisers.
O’Halloran is active in his community and is eager to participate in events. He is a joy to his coaches and volunteers, making everyone feel appreciated by his great smile and thankful heart. He encourages those around him and truly shows the spirit of Special Olympics.
Caitlin McKenna of Cardigan was presented with the volunteer award.
This award is presented annually to a Special Olympics P.E.I. sports volunteer who through their commitment to enriching the lives of Islanders with an intellectual disability, through sport, has made a difference in their community.
McKenna is described as a young volunteer with an amazing vision. She observes, listens and is respectful of everyone. She is encouraging and supportive of the athletes and is always looking for how she can improve things.
Although she leads a busy and active life, McKenna makes time every week to participate in the Community Multi-Sport and Fitness programming as well as giving extra time to train athletes for national and international competitions.
Facility of the year
The Island Gymnastics Academy was announced as the facility of the year. This award is presented annually to a facility that opens its doors and hearts to allow Special Olympics P.E.I. to call their facility home.
The Island Gymnastics Academy has hosted a FUNdamenals program to schools for the past number of years. Their coaches welcome the association’s athletes into their facility and offer a program that reinforces fundamental movement skills while also introducing Special Olympics athletes to sport.
Recipients of Special Olympics P.E.I. volunteer pins: