Special Olympics basketball player strikes gold in Kamloops

Tessa Allwood was a part of the Thompson Okanagan Ogopogos Basketball team who brought home the gold

Special Olympics athletes from Salmon Arm found success and had fun at the Special Olympics BC Summer games.

Tessa Allwood was a part of the Thompson Okanagan Ogopogos Basketball team who brought home the gold medal in their division at the Special Olympics BC Summer Games in Kamloops on July 7 and 8.

Some 1,900 athletes competed in 11 events at the competition in Kamloops.

“So happy and proud for all these nine amazing athletes from Vernon, Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Kamloops. We met wonderful competitors from all around BC during competition and at the after-games events,” said Leah Briault who coached the Thompson Okanagan team.

Tessa’s team went undefeated at the provincial championships.

Competing in the M division, the Ogopogos placed ahead of the Campbell River Waves, the North Shore Pinks and the Richmond Ravens.

“Tessa loves to play the game of basketball. She attends every practice and in the last four years, I have seen great improvement in her skills. She has a great sense of humour and is a delight to coach,” said Tara Shantz, who coaches the Salmon Arm Special Olympics Basketball team that Tessa plays on.

Shantz said the Salmon Arm Special Olympics Basketball team has 14 players of a variety of ages and playing abilities and placed third in their division at a tournament they attended in Kelowna this year.

Along with basketball, the Salmon Arm chapter of Special Olympics BC also runs programs for bocce and Club Fit, which Shantz described as, “a fitness program designed specifically for Special Olympics athletes of varying skill levels to improve their health and fitness outside of participation in other Special Olympics programs.”