A’burg heroes take on council in annual year end game

By Joel Charron

It’s billed as one of the highlights of the year.

The Amherstburg Heroes squared off against a team of council members in a friendly game of basketball for the second consecutive year at General Amherst High School.

Just like the previous year, the Heroes showed up Team Council, cruising to a 72-25 victory.

“This really is one of the highlights of the year,” said Amherstburg co-founders Michelle Jones-Rousseau.

Mary Ellen Smith attemps a shot as Councillor Bart DiPasquale looks on.

The Amherstburg Heroes are a group of intellectually disabled athletes that are supported by Community Living Essex County. The Heroes are also co-sponsored by the Amherstburg Police.

Team Council consisted of Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland, Councillor Bob Pillon, Councillor Bart DiPasquale and Councillor John Sutton. Team Council also featured members of administration and the public.

“Two thing are guaranteed,” said Sutton. “Everyone is going to have a good time and we’re going to lose. It’s all about the smiles and the friendships.”

Sutton said the game against the Amherstburg Heroes is “a great community event” and shows the town is accessible.

“There is a place in Amherstburg for everyone, regardless of your ability level,” said Sutton. “Council proves that every year by playing terrible basketball.”

Sutton joked that Team Council didn’t have any “secret plays” as their only hope was not to “throw up as many bricks” this year.

Sutherland, who is playing in the game for the first time said he was “excited and pumped” to play.

“This is going to be a lot of fun,” said Sutherland.

Sutherland admitted it has been a long time since he shot hoops and joked about his hardcourt skills.

“I haven’t played basketball since I was in high school,” joked Sutherland. “I wasn’t any good back than I’m sure I won’t be any good tonight. I don’t know if I can even throw it that high.”

The game was the year-end event for the Amherstburg Heroes and serves as an introduction to National Access Awareness Week, which runs May 29-June 4.

Jones-Rousseau extended her thanks for the members of council and administration that attended.

“They really help make this game special for the athletes,” she said.

Jones-Rousseau said a number of athletes have been so excited about the annual council game that a number of them were talking about it on Facebook leading up to the game.

‘Everyone has been talking about it and practicing the last few weeks,” Jones-Rousseau said.

All 52 Amherstburg Heroes athletes participated in the annual council game.

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