Antigonish eager to put on a good show

ANTIGONISH: Preparations for a national sporting event are well underway.

Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher said the town is moving along quickly with preparations for the 2018 Special Olympics Canada National Summer Games from July 31-August 4 in Antigonish.

“People are getting excited,” said Boucher. “Our staff has been very involved through our recreation department and our active living coordinator.”

Boucher said town staff will work with downtown businesses and the beautification committee to make sure the town is in top form to receive athletes and their families.

“We’re excited,” she said. “We’re looking forward to it. Everything is going well so far. We’re doing well.”

The sporting events taking place over the course of the games include athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, rhythmic gymnastics, power lifting, soccer, softball and swimming. The Special Olympics Canada Web site states they expect around 3,000 spectators, 900 athletes, 290 coaches, officials and mission staff, and 600 volunteers.

This is only the second time Nova Scotia hosted the event and it will be the first time the event takes place outside of a major city.

“This is pretty significant,” Boucher said. “It’s been in bigger centres but never in an area the size of the Antigonish community. We’re pretty proud of that. We’re anxious to put on a good show and a good welcoming to show the rest of Canada what we have to offer. It’s going to be great because we have so much to offer.”