Oak Bay Const. Sheri Lucas will serve as a guardian of the flame during the 2017 World Games Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg in Austria.
“It’s a real big honour,” the local police officer said. “I just think it’s incredible to be picked out of all the police officers and law enforcement who have volunteered their time.”
From March 9 to 18, 2017, 133 team members, including 88 law enforcement runners, 10 Special Olympics athletes and logistics personnel from 26 countries, will serve as Guardians of the Flame. Lucas will travel with SOBC – Coquitlam athlete Mandy Manzardo, among 10 international athletes lacing up beside law enforcement members.
“Throughout my interactions with Special Olympics athletes, I have learned about team spirit, determination, positive attitudes, friendship, and how all of these things can help overcome anything, both on and off a playing field,” Lucas said. “These men and women inspire me to be better in my own life and to not be so quick to judge. I am very grateful to be a Guardian of the Flame to help spread the Special Olympics message of inclusion.”
Heavily involved since that day in 1998 when her staff sergeant at the time approached her with the new initiative, she continues to be awed, and share the message of, the Special Olympics athletes.
“Special Olympics is one of those things that not everybody is touched by. Unless you know someone with special needs it’s put on the back burner. Until you’re touched by it and see what a difference it makes in an athlete’s life … you don’t get a lot of support,” Lucas said.
This Saturday she continues to run with that message of respect and inclusion while raising funds for Special Olympics BC in the local Law Enforcement Torch Run on the Galloping Goose trail.
“Locally there are a lot of athletes we have on the Island and once again it’s that awareness. I don’t think people know the effect it has on these athletes and the changes it makes in their lives,” Lucas said. “It gives them that sense of inclusion and to be a part of the team.”
About 100 runners are expected to participate, including members of the Saanich, Central Saanich, Victoria, Oak Bay and Military Police, with Special Olympics athletes and supporters.
The run is at 9 a.m., starting and finishing at the Saanich Police Department, 760 Vernon Ave. Cost to run or walk is $20, including a dry-fit shirt; register the day of the event or online at specialolympics.bc.ca/LETR. The event caps with a pancake breakfast by donation.