Setting gold standard
About 135 athletes with an intellectual disability will descend on Rockingham next weekend to compete in the Special Olympics Western Australia State Games.
Taking place from Saturday, October 5 to Sunday, October 6, the Special Olympics will see children and adults compete in Olympic-style sports including softball, ten-pin bowling, swimming, athletics, basketball, soccer, equestrian and golf.
An opening ceremony will be held at the Gary Holland Community Centre on the Saturday, with the Special Olympics WA State Games torch run.
Law enforcement personnel will carry the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” from Victoria Street to the Gary Holland Centre before the lighting of the cauldron at the 9.30am opening ceremony.
Sporting competitions will follow the opening ceremony and continue through until Sunday evening, concluding with a closing ceremony and disco for athletes.
Mayor Barry Sammels said the City was thrilled to be hosting the Special Olympics WA State Games for the first time.
“Sport is so important when it comes to building physically and mentally healthy communities and it’s great to see Special Olympics WA give people with intellectual disability the chance to get active, make friends, build their confidence and compete in their chosen sport,” he said.
“There’s sure to be some exciting events take place throughout the games, so I encourage residents to throw their support behind the athletes as they pursue their sporting goals.”
Special Olympics Australia is part of a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs to end discrimination against, and empower people with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Western Australia event co-ordinator Cait McGowan emphasised the importance of the Special Olympics movement and breaking down barriers through sport.
“With over 711,000 Australians living with an intellectual disability, they are the largest disability population in the country,” she said.
“In Australia another child is diagnosed with an intellectual disability every two hours.”
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