The 2017 Special Olympic BC Summer Games is coming fast and Special Olympic BC-Greater Trail athletes and coaches are primed and ready to join 1,600 athletes in the province’s largest event of the summer on July 6-8 in Kamloops.
In the upcoming weeks the Trail Times will feature the Special Olympic-Trail teams competing in the SOBC Summer Games that include athletes from golf, bowling, bocce, and swimming.
This week’s team/athlete, representing SOBC-Trail golf, is Jake Miller who has competed on the regional, provincial and national stages in snow-shoeing and floor hockey. Miller won silver with the Team BC Kootenay Storm floor hockey squad at the Special Olympic Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Nfld. in 2016, and looks to carry that success on to the links.
Golf is a new challenge for Miller and his caddie/mom Rhonda Chandler, who completed the BC Golf Association’s Caddie course in time for the event.
“He’s been working pretty hard,” said Chandler. “Sometimes he needs to concentrate a little more, but he’s been working hard.”
The Trail native is on the course at Champion Lakes Golf Club practicing every week and gets in rounds on the weekend with Chandler to help hone his skills. When asked what his expectations are heading into the Summer Games, Miller was confident and candid.
“I would like to get a gold medal. But it’s going to take some work.”
Miller attended an SOBC-Golf Performance camp in Creston last week, where golf pros put Miller and the other Kootenay golfers through a full-day of intensive practice and drills.
“There were 17 athletes, and it was a long day, from nine in the morning to nine at night,” said Chandler. “The pro spent individual time with each athlete and then they fed us supper at 5:30 p.m. and then sent us out to golf nine holes.”
The performance camp was physically and mentally exhausting but also a good experience for Miller who will play two rounds at the Kamloops Golf and Country Club under a hot Okanagan sun. And, in addition to time on the fairways, Miller is getting a strategic jump on the July competition.
“We’ve already been online and Jake found the website, and we’re looking at each hole and the yardage, so it’s a lot of prep,” added Chandler.
Up to 70 SOBC golfers will tee off at the par-72 course in what is SOBC’s largest Provincial Games golf competition yet.