I attended the Ontario Special Olympics award dinner and dance night at the Elk’s Hall in Fort Frances to present an award to the “Most Improved” female and male athlete in the sport of snowshoeing.
As it was a tight schedule, with many awards going to a full slate of sports activities throughout the full year, I was unable to express my thoughts to my team, the “Fort Frances Trappers,” so I will have it done in print in the local newspapers.
If the award was for attendance and dedication in practice, Joyce Gosselin, Chris Calder, Jack McLeod, Carrie Joliceour, Dave Ducasse, and Arlan Scott would have been all winners. But since the award was for the “Most Improved” it made it a difficult choice as they had all improved throughout the winter.
Being the initial year in the sport of snowshoeing also made it that much harder.
Luckily, I kept all my timing run sheets, and with the averages calculated, came up with the two winners--Joyce Gosselin and Arlan Scott.
On this very first trial, Dave Ducasse and Chris Calder made it to the provincial winter games in Timmins, with Ducasse collecting a gold and a silver medal and Calder the gold for his performance there. Dave Ducasse made it to the national winter games to be held at Ottawa in January.
At the provincials, Ducasse fell in the 200 on run and despite this got the silver medal. Without the fall, he would have been right on top of the field!
Many medal awards were given out to athletes in different sports and categories but the three athletes that got their names on a trophy were Angie Pernshy (the top female athlete of the year) and Dave Ducasse (the top male athlete of the year).
A special award was brought to the table of the Fort Frances Region #8 Special Olympics commemorating a passing athlete that was worshipped by his fellow athletes, coaches, co-ordinators, and volunteers. The award--”The Larry Flatt Award.”
Special Olympian Thomas Fraser was the chosen participant of this prestigious award for the same reasoning!
Individual trophies also were given to the three athletes.