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267.5 kg lifted by Jackie Barrett

setting a world record in the squat competition at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

4364 basketball players

are currently registered with Special Olympics. Basketball is one of the newest sports to be added to our roster.

Coach

Ross MacIntosh

Ross MacIntosh

About Ross MacIntosh

Born and raised in Westville, Nova Scotia, Ross MacIntosh never thought that sitting “on the bench” at a couple of Saturday morning floor hockey practices would turn into an amazing 20-year run with Special Olympics Nova Scotia.

Born and raised in Westville, Nova Scotia, Ross MacIntosh never thought that sitting “on the bench” at a couple of Saturday morning floor hockey practices would turn into an amazing 20-year run with Special Olympics Nova Scotia.

A veteran of the provincial scene, Ross was the head coach of the Canadian powerlifting team that competed in Athens, Greece this past summer, leading the four competitors to 12 gold medals and one silver, as well as a world record. Athens also marked his first world games appearance.

The final medal tally was immensely gratifying, considering that he had spearheaded the development of the provincial powerlifting program, resurrecting this sport in Nova Scotia just three years earlier by organizing demonstrations at provincial games. At the 2010 summer nationals in London, Ontario, one of the three athletes he coaches competed at this level of competition for the very first time.

“I think that for any coach, there is no monetary value in what we do,” says Ross, “but it’s that you get to share in the athletes’ success when you see them doing their best.”

In addition to powerlifting, he has also coached soccer, softball, floor hockey, and curling. He is credited with launching the Special Olympics curling program in Pictou County, which has now grown to two teams.

Outside of Special Olympics, Ross manages several group homes, teaches first aid, and is also a volunteer firefighter, something he has done for more than 20 years.

Ross is the 2011 Male Coach of the Year, and will be honoured at the 23rd annual Special Olympics Canada Awards on December 8, 2011 in Toronto.

Volunteers like Ross are quite literally the backbone of Special Olympics, and while the reasons these dedicated volunteers have come to Special Olympics are as varied as the individuals themselves, one thing is abundantly clear: we could not deliver on our mission to enrich the lives of children, youth and adults with an intellectual disability without them.

Quite simply: with them, we get things done.

Whether you can offer a few hours a week during the year, or want to help out at a one-time event, a life-enriching experience awaits you in Special Olympics. Expect to create lifelong friendships, put your skills to good use and to change your community for the better. (And don’t be surprised if you hear that you’ll get so much more out of the experience than what you put in!)

To make this year special, visit www.toyotavolunteertrainingdays.ca

How to be an Athlete

We believe that Special Olympics can offer children, youth and adults with an intellectual disability like Catherine the opportunity to reach their full athletic and social potential, building athletic skills and character traits that will help them lead happier, healthier lives. It is a path to empowerment, competence, acceptance, joy, and friendship. And so, Special Olympics will be accessible and open to these individuals with an intellectual disability, regardless of their ability level.

Contact your local chapter for more information about registering as a Special Olympics athlete.