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Sports : Special Olympics Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

The Venezuelan Special Olympics Team
By Carmel Dooley
11, Jun 2003 - 08:52

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111 Athletes and 29 Coaches is the composition of the Venezuelan team, covering a range of 14 different sports. These sports include some well known activities such as Soccer, Basketball, Swimming, Athletics, Horseriding, Bowling, Gymnastics, Cycling, Golf, Table Tennis and some lesser kown sports such as Bocce (a form of bowling), Roller skating, Power lifting and Team Handball. Ages of the athletes range from 11-51.

The Sports Co-ordinator during their stay in Castlebar is Charlie Lambert a P.E. Teacher in Davitt College. Charlie has arranged training venues for all the athletes using the facilities available in Castlebar. These venues include Castlebar Swimming Pool, G.M.I.T., Mayo Leisure Point, Turlough Riding School, Kudos Leisure Club Breaffy, Travellers Friend Hotel, Castlebar Golf Club and An Sportlann.

The athletes will train each morning during their stay between the hours of 10-12 noon. The training will be light as the emphasis is on rest and relaxation prior to them leaving for the games on the 20th June. An interesting statistic is that there is one coach per four athletes. A local team of volunteers will be on hand at all locations to assist the Venezuelans while they are fine-tuning their preparations.

Prior to their arrival the Venezuelans requested that a challenge match be arranged between their Basketball team and a local selection. Preparations are at an advanced stage and the match will take place on Thursday 19th June at 5pm in An Sportlann Castlebar. They are bound to give the local team a run for their money. This should cap off a memorable experience for the delegation. All the work is done and it’s ready for action all that’s left is to brush up on the old Spanish. Adios.

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