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Special Olympics Nova Scotia's Provincial Summer Games kicks off this weekend

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Hundreds of athletes and coaches are heading to Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., this weekend for Special Olympics Nova Scotia's Provincial Summer Games.

The games expect more than 800 athletes and coaches to attend, as well as over 300 supporting volunteers.

According to the organization's website, competitions taking place this weekend include:

  • track and field
  • bocce
  • soccer
  • golf
  • softball
  • rhythmic gymnastics
  • swimming
  • basketball

The director of sport for Special Olympics Nova Scotia says the Provincial Summer Games is the organization's biggest event of the year.

"Obviously our athletes train and practise all year long to prepare for these games and this is kind of the combination of that where we celebrate sport," said Matt Quinn, during an interview with CTV Atlantic's Ana Almeida on Tuesday.

Athletes are seen competing in a previous Special Olympics Nova Scotia's Provincial Summer Games event.

"I'm really excited about seeing all the athletes competing."

Athlete Natalie Branscombe is competing in the swimming category this weekend and says she's always had a love of being in the pool.

"I went from basketball, from a knee injury, to swimming and getting five medals from one medal." Said Branscombe. "So, this is the sport for me."

She says her favourite part of competing is being with her friends, who she considers her second family.

"And just swimming and doing a new sport that I love because basketball was my passion, but now swimming is my new passion," said Branscombe.

"Come watch. Come watch everybody compete. These athletes will change your lives because Special Olympics has changed mine and I can't wait."

Athletes are seen competing in a previous Special Olympics Nova Scotia's Provincial Summer Games event.

Not only will Nova Scotian athletes be competing, but competitors from Special Olympics New Brunswick and Special Olympics Prince Edward Island also join in on the fun.

Quinn says although there's been a large uptick in volunteers this year, the need for more is still there.

"One little small point that we do need is if there's any basketball referees out there that are willing to help out, it's one of the only gaps we really have heading into the games," he said.

"So, if there's any basketball referees looking to volunteer this weekend that would be great."

Athletes are seen competing in a previous Special Olympics Nova Scotia's Provincial Summer Games event.

Anyone interested in volunteering as a basketball referee can contact the organization on its website.

The three-day competition kicks off Friday and runs until Sunday.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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