Special Olympics Bundaberg athletes have plenty to celebrate after bringing home a number of gold, silver and bronze medals from the recent Special Olympics National Games.
Ten local athletes set off to Launceston to compete in the games across a number of sports including bowling, swimming, athletics and basketball.
The games provided the opportunity for athletes to not only compete at a high level but discover new strengths and abilities.
Sports Coordinator from Special Olympics Bundaberg Raelene Whalley said the games provided the athletes with the opportunity to meet new people while building their confidence.
“A number of the athletes made comments about the friendships they have built with all the other states throughout the games,” Raelene said.
“It was great to see them build these friendships with other participants and work closely with fellow Queensland athletes.
“There is never really any bad sportsmanship at these games as they all acted like winners and supported each other which is great.”
Raelene said it could be challenging for the athletes to leave home and learn a new routine but she was proud of how they had adjusted.
“One of the biggest things that they have learnt is their independence and adjusting to being in camp,” she said.
“We work with one guy who didn’t want to go because he doesn’t leave his parents often.
“He ended up winning a number of medals and this really built his confidence and now he wants to come back again.”
From here, athletes may have the chance to be selected for the world games which will be held in Berlin in 2023.
The games were held over five days, with over 700 athletes competing across ten sports.
Through the power of sports, the event provides people with intellectual disabilities the chance to discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success.
Find out more about Special Olympics Bundaberg here.
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