Law Enforcement Torch Run puts officers and Winchester Public School students on their heels

WPS and NDDHS students follow an OPP cruiser and the Special Olympics Flame of Hope. Smith photo, Nation Valley News

Kelsey Smith
Nation Valley News

WINCHESTER — Grade 6 students of Winchester Public School (WPS), Special Olympics competitors from North Dundas District High School (NDDHS) and OPP officers hoofed it through Winchester’s downtown streets yesterday afternoon as the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) paid a visit.

Supporting the Special Olympics movement for athletes with intellectual disabilities, the LETR initiative marks its 30th anniversary this year. Over 97,000 law enforcement officials around the world handle the movement’s “Flame of Hope” annually between Special Olympics competitions. 

Not to be confused with the Paralympics, the next World Games of the Special Olympics will be hosted by Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in 2018.

And Winchester pupils can say they had a hand in getting the Flame to that distant destination.

Local run participants began at the WPS school yard and went up to Main Street and back (see route on map).

Before the students headed outside, constables Tylor Copeland of Morrisburg and Stacey Campbell of Napanee entertained with background information and a video depicting the previous three decades of Torch Runs.

The video features the former LETR chair Mike Peretti, who spoke of the run’s message. “It’s about focusing on the ability not the disability,” Peretti conveyed on screen.

The local officers then posed with students for pictures and led the run around Winchester, arriving back at the school to enjoy freezies donated by Winchester Foodland.

Just about ready to run. Smith photo, Nation Valley News


A student holds the Flame of Hope. Smith photo, Nation Valley News

The North Dundas District High School crew. Smith photo, Nation Valley News

Students at Winchester Public School and North Dundas District High School Special Olympians pose with the “Flame of Hope” torch that is carried to every Special Olympics event. The flame will eventually make its way to the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Smith photo, Nation Valley News

Smith photo, Nation Valley News



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