Kamloops peace officers carry the torch for Special Olympians

Kamloops, BC – A Kamloops Law Enforcement Torch Run hopes to help light the way toward the Special Olympics Provincial Winter Games kickoff next week.

On Feb. 1, 2023 members of the Kamloops RCMP Detachment and law enforcement partners will tie their laces and do their stretches for a 3 p.m. run at the Tournament Capital Centre, 910 McGill Road.

Kamloops peace officers carry the torch for Special Olympians
Kamloops peace officers carry the torch for Special Olympians

“The Torch Run allows us to show our support, raise funds, and encourage volunteers to participate in the main games, which officially open the next day,” said Constable Phil Whiles, a Kamloops RCMP officer and Special Olympics supporter.

The Opening Ceremony for the Special Olympics BC Provincial Winter Games is at 7 p.m. on Feb. 2, at the TCC fieldhouse. Members of the public are invited to cheer on the athletes who will be competing in eight different winter sports throughout the city on Feb. 3 and 4: alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, five-pin bowling, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating. Admission is free and no tickets are required.

For those who would like to be more than a spectator, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer, he added.

“There are lots of different levels of volunteer work, no matter what you’re into or how limited your window of time may be,” said Cst. Whiles.

Cst. Whiles has been a volunteer with the Special Olympics for more than 20 years on and off.
He began by coaching a swim team for the organization when he was in university. When he joined the RCMP and was posted to the Yukon, he continued his involvement by helping to coach swimming, fundraising and chaperoning the team’s competitive travels, including to the Special Olympic Summer Games.

Now my focus is on the Kamloops team by fundraising, volunteering, and participating in events, such as the Torch Run, and in raising awareness about the impact community support has on creating opportunities for these incredible athletes, he said.

Following the games, Cst. Whiles and law enforcement partners will turn their attention to the Polar Plunge – an event in which sponsored officers will take a chilly dip into the icy cold Thompson River to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics. That event is on Feb. 22, 11 a.m. at Pioneer Park and will include the attendance of local athletes.

Kamloops RCMP

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