Athletes from throughout the country will come together this weekend to compete in a variety of events including aquatics, track and field and other disciplines, as part of this year’s Special Olympics.

The games kick off on Sunday, March 7, with Bocce (a traditional Italian sport involving bowling) at the Hockey Astroturf, Wildey, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

On Monday, March 8, participants will take to the pool at the Aquatic Centre, from 8:30 3:30 p.m. There will be junior track and field for children in the 5-7 and 8-11 age groups at Erdiston Primary School, and a special 50 metre race for those aged 12- 15. The event will get under way from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The competition will come to a climax on Thursday, March 18, with the staging of the National Games at the National Stadium, Waterford, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Participants in the 8-11, 12-19 and 20 and over age groups will compete in wheelchair races; distances over 50, 100, 200, 400 and 800-metres and 4×100 metre relays. Activities will also include the long jump, standing long jump and the softball throw.

As a feature of the Games, Special Olympic athletes will be paired with able-bodied persons. They will also compete in handball, cricket, table tennis, volleyball and basketball throughout the year.??

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