Vital People: Special Olympics athlete Sheenagh Morrison wants you to take the polar plunge

Vital People: Special Olympics athlete Sheenagh Morrison wants you to take the polar plunge
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Special Olympics athlete Sheenagh Morrison is making a difference by giving back in the polar plunge.

With police officers from Greater Victoria joining her, Special Olympics BC athlete Sheenagh Morrison gets ready to take the plunge — the polar plunge — at Willow’s Beach in Oak Bay.“I challenge everyone to do it!” Sheenagh says.Sheenagh’s been involved in Special Olympics for 21 years and she’s ‘freezing for a reason.’“I love Special Olympics,” Sheenagh says enthusiastically. “It’s changed my life. I’ve made so many friends and I have more confidence in myself. I believe in myself more.”Sheenagh also volunteers as an athlete public speaker in Victoria and she was Western Canada’s first athlete reporter, helping to raise awareness about how Special Olympics helps people with developmental disabilities.“I love being able to tell my story,” Sheenagh says. “I love being able to fundraise for Special Olympics.”It’s all the more amazing, given Sheenagh used to be very shy and had a bad stutter and barely spoke when she was younger.“She’s absolutely amazing and she’s just the perfect example that we only limit ourselves, and she’s surpassed all of that,” says Oak Bay Police Sgt. Julie Chanin, who’s on Sheenagh’s polar plunge team. “Anybody who’s tried to put her in a box or put a label on her, she hasn’t tolerated any of that.”“I am Sheenagh’s biggest fan,” adds Const. Lisa Bruschetta of the Saanich Police Department. “She is my definition of a team player. When you talk about being inclusive, she is just always bringing other people in.”Sheenagh also advocates for others and got the province to stop clawing back benefits from people on disability who got hero pay.

“It makes me feel good because not everyone has the ability to speak up for themselves, not everyone has the ability to make changes,” says Sheenagh.Sheenagh’s already raised more than $2,500 for this year’s polar plunge and she’s hoping to inspire others to make a splash between now and March 20th to raise much-needed funds for Special Olympics.

To make a donation to Sheenagh’s polar plunge fundraising page, click on this link.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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