CANTON — “Let me win.
But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
That is the oath of those involved in Special Olympics.
It is an oath that is familiar to the incredible Special Olympic athletes here in our community, emphasizes spokesperson Holly Roos.
On Saturday, all of those involved invite everyone to attend the Fifth Annual Holiday Hoops Basketball Tournament at Canton High School.
Games will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. The final game begins at 3 p.m.
For the past five years, the Special Olympic athletes from Canton have been hosting their Holiday Hoops basketball Tournament the first weekend of December. This Saturday teams will be coming from Canton School District, FCRC, Macomb, Morton, Monmouth and Beardstown to compete in the annual event.
“We are very excited for our fifth tournament this weekend. Our players have been practicing very hard and our athletes are excited. This will be their first game of the season and we are thrilled to be playing here at home.” says Greg Stephenson, coach of the Canton purple and gold teams.
The Holiday Hoops tournament, which is run completely by volunteers, started with just eight teams. This year 13 teams from six different Special Olympic organizations will be competing, bringing 130 athletes to Canton High School for Saturday’s event. Each athlete will receive a Canton Holiday Hoops t-shirt from Mel’s Sporting Goods and pizza for lunch provided by Papa John’s Pizza, Monical’s Pizza and Pizza Hut.
Parents, family and friends of local Special Olympic athletes are on hand throughout the day helping with lunch, the concession stand and the games.
A silent auction and raffles will also be held during the day.
“We are thankful for the wonderful support from our local businesses and families to make this event a success. Everyone puts a lot of work into making this tournament a great time for everyone who attends. It’s a great chance for the community to join us and support our local Special Olympics teams. Our players practice and play hard and just like all athletes appreciate the support of their fans filling the stands.” explains Stephenson.
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities.
Through year-round sports training and athletic competition and other related programming for nearly 3 million children and adults with intellectual disabilities in more than 180 countries.
Special Olympics has created a model community that celebrates people’s diverse gifts.
It was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship
Special Olympics Illinois does not charge athletes or their families to participate in the program.
Special Olympics serves nearly 3.5 million persons with intellectual disabilities in more than 200 programs in more than 170 countries.
In Illinois, nearly 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 6,000 young athletes ages 2 to 7 with and without intellectual disabilities participate in the program.
# As reported by; Canton Daily Ledger - Dec 02, 2011, at: