Page 2393 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

treasure markets continuing to be put back into the community in such a positive way. I want to thank the Belconnen Rotary Club, and I wish the Diamantina Scout Group every success in their exciting rebuilding project. It augurs well for the future of scouting in the area.

Special Olympics

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (6.34): Two weeks ago I was pleased to meet the ACT athletes who represented Australia at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles as they left Canberra Airport on their big adventure. The seven Canberrans joined 69 other Australians and another 7,000 athletes from 177 countries competing in the event, which was held from 25 July to 2 August. The games have now officially come to an end, and all but one of our athletes are arriving home today.

The Special Olympics aims to provide meaningful sports programs for people with an intellectual disability so they can have the chance to do their best in an environment where they are accepted and can feel proud of their achievements. Through being involved in sport, they have a chance to learn new skills and have experiences that help improve their health, develop self-confidence, have fun and build social connections. For a group within the community that is traditionally quite socially isolated, it is the personal connections and friendships that come from being part of the Special Olympics that have the biggest impact on the day-to-day lives of the participants and their families.

From the photos posted on social media from the games, it is very clear that the athletes have clearly had a wonderful time enjoying what has been a terrific event, and are overjoyed to have had the opportunity to represent their country, compete with their peers, and build new friendships. The camaraderie amongst the teams has been strong, with some great displays of sportsmanship from athletes showing the joy of competing, the love of sport and a great spirit of friendship amongst the competitors.

The Canberra athletes represented Australia in five sports—basketball, football, golf, sailing and swimming. In basketball, Canberra’s Jack Lyttleton was part of the gold medal winning team that competed against Jamaica in the final on Sunday. In football, Liam O’Donnell and Zachary Spoor were part of the team that won silver in the five-a-side football. Liam was selected to run with the Olympic torch here in Australia in the lead-up to the games and has become somewhat of a celebrity, picking up the nickname “Hollywood” because of the media coverage attracted while representing Australia at the Asia Pacific Games in 2013. In golf, Darren Tait won silver in the level 4 stroke play nine hole. In sailing, Bronwyn Ibbotsen and Allister Peak picked up the top two places, with Allister winning gold and Bronwyn winning silver in the level 5 individual sailing. In swimming, Gabrielle Dear competed in the 100-metre freestyle and 50-metre backstroke, coming fourth in that event, and eighth in the freestyle. The ACT should be very proud of these seven athletes for their achievements in their chosen events and for the great spirit of sportsmanship which they displayed.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video