The 2018 Special Olympics Australia National Games has opened at the Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide today. The event will feature 1000 athletes with intellectual disabilities competing across 11 Olympic sports, supported by over 900 volunteers at a range of different sporting venues in and around Adelaide.
The event features a program including Athletics, Basketball, Bocce, Equestrian, Soccer, Golf, Gymnastics, Sailing, Swimming, Tennis, Tenpin Bowling, with AFL included in the program as a demonstration sport.
Minister for Tourism, David Ridgway said South Australia is extremely proud to be hosting the National Games for a second time in 8 years.
“I look forward to the exciting competition that will be happening over the coming week, in sporting venues in and around Adelaide,” said Minister Ridgway.
“I also sincerely thank the 900 volunteers whose assistance is critical to the Games success, as well as the support teams of hundreds more, cheering on the sidelines,”
“It is a particularly exciting opportunity for South Australia to celebrate diversity and inclusion through sport and it’s wonderful to see how athletic endeavours can bring people together,” said Minister Ridgway.
South Australian Tourism Commission Chief Executive Rodney Harrex said this event offers a great opportunity to educate and include all members of the community, challenge attitudes and leave a legacy of acceptance, respect and understanding.
“This event has been secured through the events bid fund and the SATC is delighted to be the major sponsor for the event,” Mr Harrex said.
“The event will attract more than 2,500 visitors to South Australia and generate approximately $3.5 million to the State’s economy.”
Special Olympics Australia will also run athlete’s programs in conjunction with the National Games including the Athlete Leadership program, the Healthy Athlete Program, and the Young Athlete program.
The Special Olympics Australia National Games is held every four years and this year’s event is a qualifying event for the Special Olympics World Summer Games, to be held in March 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Special Olympics World Summer Games are the world’s largest humanitarian and sporting event in 2019.
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