Special Olympians took to the Boroondara Sports Complex (BSC) basketball courts at this year’s Special Olympics Victoria state carnival.
The annual event took place on October 6, with sporting events being held across the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Boroondara Sports Complex welcomed the opportunity to host the Basketball tournament.
BSC Programs Coordinator, Ben Porteous, said, “We were so excited to be able to host such a fun and inclusive event. It was great to see both participants and volunteers having a great time and enjoying our facilities.”
85 players competed, vying to be the champions of the day. Teams were spread across five divisions, dependent on the skill level of the players and the severity of their disability.
Participants had a great day battling it out on the court, with Special Olympics Melbourne West basketballer, Michael van Wilgenburg, saying, “The competition was fierce but, above all, we had heaps of fun!”
Special Olympics Victoria is part of a global sporting community that has been transforming the lives of people with an intellectual disability for almost 50 years. Since Special Olympics began in Australia in 1976 they have been opening the door to personal achievement, pride and inclusion for people with an intellectual disability. They now have 3108 athletes across 59 cubs, participating in 18 sports.
Through YMCA Open Doors, BSC was able to subsidise the booking for Special Olympics Victoria, a not-for-profit organisation. Ensuring that the event was as accessible as possible with a focus on promoting participation in sport.
Simon Rodder, Special Olympics Australia Sports Development & Partnerships Manager, explained, “It was wonderful to host our year’s biggest event at a venue that was so welcoming. The staff provided great support to ensure that all players, clubs and our community will remember the event positively for a long time.”