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Nelson’s Bigby Place team succeeds at event for athletes with diverse abilities

The team attended Operation Trackshoes 2023 in Victoria
Team members, volunteers, support workers and family members collecting their award. Photo: Submitted

Submitted by the Kootenay Society for Community Living

The Kootenay Society for Community Living (KSCL) Operation Trackshoes team has won a trophy and an honourable mention for good sportsmanship at an event in Victoria.

After months of dedicated training and a spirit that knows no bounds, these athletes from Bigby Place have come back to Nelson with heads held high and hearts filled with pride.

Operation Trackshoes 2023, the esteemed annual event celebrating inclusivity for athlete’s diverse abilities, recently concluded its 50th year at the University of Victoria. The event is run by volunteers who go beyond their roles of ensuring smooth running of the event and have mastered the art spreading joy, fostering connections, and empowering people with developmental disabilities to reach their full potential.

Throughout the event, athletes, volunteers, and organizers showcased unwavering determination, resilience, and camaraderie. Despite the relentless rain on Saturday, the athletes remained undeterred, embodying the true essence of resilience. The sun came out for the Sunday events and the group competed in their track and field events, inspiring spectators with their determination and cheer.

Beyond the sporting aspect, Operation Trackshoes 2023 provided a platform for lifelong friendships, celebratory moments, and unforgettable memories. The banquet served as a heartfelt gathering, allowing participants, volunteers, and organizers to express gratitude and reflect on the profound impact of this cherished event. The dance party brought people together, transcending barriers and celebrating the magic of unity with love, energy, and laughter.

Nick Toner (left) and Rafael Greenaway, members of the Bigby Place team, at Operation Trackshoes 2023 in Victoria. Photo: Submitted
Nick Toner (left) and Rafael Greenaway, members of the Bigby Place team, at Operation Trackshoes 2023 in Victoria. Photo: Submitted

The success of Operation Trackshoes 2023 was made possible by the unwavering support of the West Kootenay community, which responded positively to fundraising events such as the B!GBY Bike-a-thon, the Castlegar CO carwash, and many more.

We would like to thank the donations made individuals and groups. KSCL and the dedicated support staff who accompanied the athletes played a pivotal role in empowering individuals to achieve their goals. The team came away with a trophy and an honourable mention for good sportsmanship. The team felt very proud and united.

While it was announced that this milestone year would be the final year for Operation Trackshoes, the spirit of the event will live on. The cherished memories, newfound friendships, and personal triumphs will forever shape the lives of those involved. As we bid farewell to this incredible event, we are inspired to continue creating a more inclusive society — one where individuals of all abilities are embraced, empowered, and celebrated.