Mandy Demerse says the best part of her golf game is driving.
“I hit the ball pretty far and I think I will do well there,” she said.
The destination she is talking about isn’t the well-groomed fairways of Osprey Links in Callander - her destination is much further away than that.
You see Mandy, will be taking her golf game to the Maritimes where she will be competing at the the Special Olympics National Summer Games as a member of Team Ontario.
Demerse will be joined by another eight local athletes at the event which will take place in Antigonish, N.S., in August.
The 30-year-old who averages around 90 for 18 holes of play, has already tasted victory on the links as she won gold at the North American Championships in Seattle, Washington last summer.
“Tournament play is way better because you feel like a pro out there and it’s pretty fun,” said Demerse.
“I think I just have to keep calm, not be hard on myself and look forward to the next shot because it will always be a better one than the last one.”
Mandy has had some good help too. She has been getting guidance from well known local golf instructor and National Special Olympics golf coach Glenn Cundari.
"She's quite a skilled player and she'll compete in Nationals and if she goes out and plays well in Halifax, she's probably one of the two or three top players for the girls and so she has a legit chance to represent Team Canada. She's a really strong player.”
The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games will take place from March 14 to 21, 2019 in Abu Dabi.
Sharon Fung is a local Special Olympics supporter and knows Mandy well from the North Bay North Stars Special Hockey team.
“I know Many originally from hockey and she has an unparalleled passion for hockey so that spills over to golf,” said Fung.
“She is actually quite well rounded, she has her hockey in the winter and golf in the summer.
You can just see the passion, the way she talks about it, the way her face lights up.”
Fung says all the local athletes are responsible for raising about 1200 towards the trip which includes a flight to Nova Scotia.
Anyone interested in helping Mandy or the other eight local athlete can help by going HERE