Marc MacNevin is heading off to the biggest sporting event he’s ever taken part in, but he’s pretty relaxed about it.
The Truro athlete, who also works at the New to You, is heading to the national Special Olympics to play basketball this summer.
“It’s fun, even if I don’t win,” he said. “The best part is making new friends.”
He does enjoy winning though, and has earned a few medals. In the past, he’s taken part in swimming, dancing, bowling and floor hockey.
He prefers to play up front, shooting the ball, and says his coaches are nice; not too bossy.
Marc was one of the original players to join the Special Olympics basketball team when it formed six years ago.
“I’ve really seen a change in the players,” said Jason Crewe, one of the team coaches. “Their self-motivation shows.
“You want to win, but you’re also in it for other things. It’s a fun group and there’s a lot of camaraderie between teams.”
He’s been encouraging the players to take part in a variety of activities to improve their fitness, and Marc has been doing pushups, chin ups, biking, lifting weights, and playing with the family dogs.
Christina Jones also coaches the basketball team.
“Christina and Jason are awesome with the athletes,” said Marc’s mother, Catherine MacNevin. “It’s a wonderful program, it’s so inclusive and happy. It’s nice to win, but if they don’t it’s also okay.
“I remember drives after hockey or soccer games when my other sons’ teams lost. They could be very quiet. With Special Olympics, it’s a very different vibe. They’re all like, ‘It’s awesome! I played!’”
The teams are mixed-gender, but the Cobequid team currently has only male players.
They’ll be heading to the games, in Antigonish, at the end of July and staying for five days.
Marc is looking forward to the bus trip and the event.
“I think there will be a lot of people there, and I want to watch lots of things and play hard,” he said.
The team practices Sunday afternoons, from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Nova Scotia Community College gym, and spectators are always welcome.
Special Olympics if always looking for more athletes and coaches. More information can be found online at http://www.speolycobequid.com/