Special Olympic coach and organizer, Ben Postmus, will be part of the the largest sporting event in the world in 2015, when he joins Team Canada at the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles next week.
Postmus, the coach of the Special Olympic’s golf team, will hook up with Team Canada on Monday in Vancouver and, after a lively send-off, will leave for L.A. Tuesday morning.
“This is huge,” said Postmus. “This is actually the largest event in the world this year, 2015, it’s larger than the Pan Am Games; 7,000 athletes, 3000 coaches, and 177 countries.”
The Games officially open July 25 and go until Aug. 2 and will feature 26 sports, 30,000 volunteers and have about half-a-million spectators attend the Games held throughout Los Angeles.
For Postmus, the sheer scope of the event is almost mind-boggling, and when asked what he anticipates his highlight to be, he replies: “Every minute. The next minute is going to be better than the last, it just keeps building and building, I don’t think it’s ever going to stop growing.”
Team Canada will send a contingent of 32 coaches and 115 athletes, with Postmus and Nicola McGovern of Ontario coaching the golf team, which consists of Kelowna’s Kyle Grummet, Dan Peaslee from Manitoba, and Tess Trojan, Lorrine Russell, and Kyle Koopman from Ontario.
“We have some really good golfers that have been training super hard with their training coaches and PGA Pros in their respective towns.” said Postmus.
“Our top two guys are really good golfers and although we are going there to have fun and have a great experience, we are training them to win.”
Special Olympics Canada was serious going into the Games and provided training camps for athletes as part of the National Team Program, a formalized approach to training and preparation for Special Olympics World Games. Athletes, coaches and mission staff enjoyed access to quality training, coaching and competitive opportunities to support optimal performance as well as a positive experience as a member of the National Team.
“It’s really mind-boggling once you think about it, you go from Champion Lake Golf Course to California with golfers from all over the world.”
While Postmus is no stranger to Special Olympic BC events, the World Games experience is unparallelled and something he intends to savour.
“It’s going to be really cool seeing all these different cultures, and all these people from different cultures, and how they handle their sports specific, their training, their strategies and things like that.”
The golf competition goes over four days from July 27 to 31, so the Teck employee will have a few days to attend other events, and considers it a rare educational opportunity, that he can bring something special back to SOBC-Trail.
“I hope that we inspire athletes to take the training on, to take the committment on, to go to that level,” said Postmus. “We (SOBC-Trail) have some that are really close, they are on the cusp, they just have to put that extra little bit into training and more competitions, and you’ll be talking to them next go around.”