Special Olympics Basketball Qualifier hosted by HTS

by Neil Morgan, Director of Athletics
On December 7, HTS hosted a Special Olympics Ontario Schools Program basketball qualifying tournament. It was a fun-filled day involving 22 HTS athletic council members and 36 athletes.

Following the tournament, I received the following email from one of the Special Olympic coaches:

“To the staff and students of HTS,

I cannot tell you how thankful we are that you hosted the Special Olympics basketball tournament yesterday. Our students had an amazing day! Your students and staff were so kind, positive and encouraging. One of our students can’t stop talking about “the cool boys that shot hoops with me.”

It was a fabulous surprise that you had prepared lunch for us all and made us all feel so welcome. You have a beautiful school that is clearly filled with love and respect for education.

Your students are truly amazing!
Again, thank you so much....can’t wait until next year!”

After receiving this email, I paused to reflect on the bigger picture–the effect sport has on unifying people. Athletics is a means in positively influencing humanity.

Our HTS athletic council and I left this event pondering the following:

What it feels like to bringing a smile to someone’s face

Offering a meal - something we sometimes take for granted

Putting aside our differences - something we need to do more of

Accepting a challenge which we sometimes hesitate to do

Being flexible is an important skill that we should always practice

Listening to others and appreciating their stories

Share our experiences- something we do without diminishing other’s experiences

Thank you to our dining hall staff, our faculty, advancement, administration, custodians and especially our athletic council for making this event one that many can reflect on with a positive feeling.