The Special Olympics gets a pretty sweet 50th Birthday present this year.

On Wednesday, Minister of Science and Sport, Kirsty Duncan, announced the federal government’s commitment of $16 million in funding for Special Olympics.

The funding will be spread over five years, starting this year, with an additional $2 million per year.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity,” said Dr. Robert Kitchen, MP for Souris-Moose Mountain. “We have great athletes here in the riding that are down there for the Special Olympics and I wish them well and I hope they do just a fantastic job because they’re going to enjoy what they’re up to.”

“This is an opportunity for these young women and men to learn to communicate, learn social skills, get involved, learn physical psycho-motor skills, learn in camaraderie, getting together with each other and advance themselves,” said Kitchen. “And I can’t see any better way than through the use of sport to become better Canadians.”

The Special Olympics supports more than 45,000 Canadians with $5 million worldwide.

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