MID North Coast will have 15 representatives in the New South Wales team at next April’s Special Olympics in Adelaide.
10 of those are from Port Macquarie, while there are three from Taree and two from Forster.
Taree trio Jasmin Chamberlain, Sui Watts (equestrian) and Gavin Andersen (ten pin bowling) will be joined by Forster duo Jason Holley and Grant Percival (ten pin bowling).
Cameron Skinner (basketball), Kris Brown (golf), Kylie Barefoot, Haley Brown, Jennifer Davis, Aaron Fox, Chelsea Kelly, Renee Lewin, Vikki Thompson and Darren Wallis (ten pin bowling) will fly the flag for Port Macquarie.
Special Olympics Committee Mid North Coast chairperson Dianne Davis said it was an “amazing” effort to have so many athletes make the team from this region.
The squad was finalised last week and Mid North Coast will have representation in basketball, golf, ten pin bowling and equestrian disciplines.
“They get so much out of it being selected,” Davis said.
“The look on their faces when we read the squad out … it was like some of them had won the lotto.”
It gives them an opportunity where they all feel like they have achieved something.
The Special Olympics are held every four years as the culmination of outstanding results at a national level throughout the years leading up to the event.
“It gives them an opportunity where they all feel like they have achieved something,” Davis said.
11 of the team will compete in the Ten Pin Bowling category and Davis admitted that was the event where the Mid North Coast could shine brightest for NSW.
“Ten pin is a sport where we can get them all together, anyone can do it and it isn’t influenced by the weather,” she said.
“They’re really competitive.”
Davis said selection in the squad was based on a rolling system where if a gold medallist at a state level was unavailable, it would go to second place.
“We would like to take everyone, but you have to limit it somehow,” she said.
The look on their faces when we read the squad out … it was like some of them had won the lotto.
“It's the best of the best that have the opportunity to go.”
The Special Olympics run for a week in April next year and the committee are encouraging any help from corporate businesses.
The athletes have to raise $3000 to get to Adelaide and a corporate bowls night will be held on September 21 to help out.
It will cost $500 and teams will consist of three bowlers.
For further enquiries, contact Ralph Mueller on 0424 044 948.