For the first time since the pandemic, police departments and other first responders from across the South Island were able to gather for the annual Polar Plunge.
The event is a fundraiser for Special Olympics B.C., an organization that is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through sports.
“Police organizations across Canada have long supported Special Olympics, ” says Victoria Police chief Del Manak.
The Pacific ocean is cold, but it pales in comparison to what our athletes a lot of times have to deal with on a day to day basis.”
For the athletes, the fundraiser plays an important part in furthering their athletic ambitions and personal achievements.
“It means a lot because my fellow athletes and I, we get to go to different places and kind of see the world without having to actually fork out lots of money to go around the world,” says athlete Jennifer Ferrier.
“I used to be a very shy person because I had a very bad stutter and because of Special Olympics I’ve gained more confidence in myself, I believe in myself more and I’ve made more friends,” adds fellow athlete Sheenagh Morrison.
It’s also an opportunity for the police to give back to the communities that they serve.
“This is one of the great things that police organizations do across the country, which is giving back and also supporting athletes who don’t have the means to support themselves,” says Manak.
For more information on Special Olympics British Columbia, you can visit their website.