Ontario Hosts the 2019 Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games
Province Welcomes 2,500 Student Athletes and Their Coaches and Families
TORONTO — Ontario's government is making strategic investments to ensure Ontario is the best place to play sports, be an athlete and compete. Today, Premier Doug Ford, joined by Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, opened the first Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games, which will take place from May 14 to 17.
"Congratulations to all the incredible athletes who will be competing over the next few days, and a big welcome to their families and coaches," said Ford. "We're proud to have the opportunity to host the Games and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics. Thank you to everyone involved in making these Games happen and best of luck to all the athletes!"
The Invitational Youth Games bring together 2,500 student athletes aged 13 to 21 and their coaches from around the world. It marks the first time high school-aged athletes with an intellectual disability will have the chance to compete in an international sports competition. The Games will host unified and traditional team options in athletics, basketball, bocce, floor hockey and soccer. Competitions will be held in venues across the Greater Toronto Area including Humber College, Seneca College, Ryerson University and the University of Toronto.
"Our government for the people is pleased to support the Games through the Ontario Sport Hosting Program," said Tibollo. "Investing in sport and recreation is key to ensuring all athletes of all abilities have the opportunity to compete at home and abroad. A special thank you to Special Olympics Ontario for providing our athletes the opportunity to compete internationally, right here at home."
- The Games are expected to generate an estimated $7 million in economic activity for the Greater Toronto Area.
- Special Olympics Ontario was awarded $700,000 through the Ontario Sport Hosting Program to host the 2019 Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games.
- Unified sport promotes social inclusion by bringing together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team.
- The Games are one of many global celebrations in 2019 to highlight the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics movement.