Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jake Gardiner and Women of Influence Rally Canadians to Unite the World in Drafting 2,000+ Special Olympics Athletes
Feb 05, 2019, 14:10 ET

TORONTOFeb. 5, 2019 /CNW/ – Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, Toronto Maple Leaf Defenseman Jake Gardiner and Women of Influence Co-CEO Stephania Varalli today advanced the promise of the Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games (IYG) to “Unite the World”. This unlikely trio came together to officially launch the Draft an Athletecampaign, calling upon businesses, communities, schools and Canadians coast to coast to rally behind the effort. An estimated $2M will be required to successfully draft upwards of 2,000 athletes from across Canada, the US and the globe who are hoping to attend the games May 14-17 in Toronto. The IYG are among several events marking the 50thAnniversary of the Special Olympics worldwide. These games will break new ground, hosting athletes with and without intellectual disabilities who will compete against and alongside each other.

The Draft an Athlete campaign offers several ways to participate in the draft throughout the qualifying stages for a “to-be-named athlete or team” or for an athlete or team from Canada, the US or around the globe that has already qualified. The Draft an Athlete website also gives donors the options to fully or partially draft an individual or team, along with options based on the sporting event and home base/country of the participating athlete(s) and team(s):

  1. Draft an individual: $1,000* per athlete for track & field
  2. Draft a team: $5,000* for basketball and bocce teams or $10,000* for floor hockey and soccer teams
  3. Support and individual or a team with a partial donation toward their draft total (from both Canada and around the world)

IYG organizers aim to draft all eligible athletes by mid-April. They will join Jake Gardiner's five drafts: Jada ClarkeJulian Fabbri, J'yquan Lawrence-Sappleton, Louis Osawaru and Maitri Patel, Track & Field, Central Etobicoke High School, EtobicokeTrinity Earl, Soccer, J. Clarke Richardson CI., Ajax, drafted by The Women of Influence, and Joshua Nwachukwu, Track & Field, Central Etobicoke High School, Etobicoke drafted by Chief Mark Saunders, the IYG Honorary Games Chair. 

Read entire article and see pictures HERE.