Detective Constable Sarah Bamford, Barrie Police Service

Sarah Bamford’s first exposure to Special Olympics (SO) was in a coaching role.  In the late 1990s, Bamford had the opportunity to start her SO journey by coaching athletes in Figure Skating.  This included two athletes who competed at the 1996 National Winter Games and 1997 World Winter Games.  “The experience of working with athletes was one of many driving forces that led me to becoming a skating coach and working with athletes of all ages and abilities.” 

As Bamford began her career in policing, the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run (OLETR) introduced a new way to get involved with Special Olympics.  “When policing provided an opportunity to work with Special Olympics – I jumped at the opportunity.”  Bamford has since taken on a leadership role within OLETR as a Zone Coordinator for her area.  This has allowed her to share her passion and the message of OLETR and Special Olympics with other Law Enforcement personnel in her area.  “Special Olympics is family!  It provides an opportunity for athletes of ALL ages and abilities to showcase their talents – and an opportunity for coaches and volunteers to highlight Special Olympics in their communities.” 

In 2017, Bamford finally had a chance to see the Opening Ceremonies of a Special Olympics Ontario Games from the OLETR standpoint.  Like most who get to experience this for the first time, she was speechless.  “I will never forget the high-fives, the smiles and excitement I got to share with the athletes.” 

OLETR and Special Olympics clearly means a lot to Bamford and she takes a chance to talk about it whenever she can.  “Not only have I had the opportunity to network and make great friends over the years, but what these athletes have given me in return without knowing it, is priceless. The athletes may not know what they do for us (Law Enforcement), but the OLETR and the athletes represent all the good that is in this world.”