Lo­cals fea­ture in huge event

The Northland Age - - Sport -

Two Bay of Is­lands peo­ple fea­ture in the group of ath­letes de­part­ing for the Spe­cial Olympics World Sum­mer Games in Abu Dhabi to­day.

Alex Gold­sack is one of three eques­tri­ans in the New Zealand del­e­ga­tion of 38 ath­letes with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties, five ‘Uni­fied Part­ners’ (i.e. ath­letes with­out an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity), and 21 coaches, man­agers and sup­port staff.

Also from the Far North is Ge­or­gia Grimme as coach of the eques­trian team fea­tur­ing Gold­sack. She was named coach of the year at the 2018 Far North Sports Awards.

The New Zealand ath­letes will com­pete in swim­ming, ath­let­ics, bocce, eques­trian, bas­ket­ball, bowl­ing, pow­er­lift­ing and foot­ball at the in­ter­na­tional meet.

Spe­cial Olympics New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Carolyn Young said the ath­letes had to com­pete at lo­cal and re­gional events, as well as at the Spe­cial Olympics New Zealand Na­tional Sum­mer Games in 2017 in or­der to qual­ify for the World Sum­mer Games, and from these events were se­lected by a panel of coaches.

“Com­pet­ing at this in­ter­na­tional event has been years in the mak­ing for many of the ath­letes, and they have all been work­ing with their coaches to be as pre­pared as pos­si­ble,” Carolyn says. “They are set for an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and we wish them all the best.” ■ Held from March 14-21, the World Games is be­ing de­scribed as the big­gest sports and hu­man­i­tar­ian event staged any­where in the world in 2019 with over 7000 ath­letes from 170 coun­tries set to com­pete in a se­ries of sports. This is the first time the event has been held in the Mid­dle East North Africa re­gion and it is the largest sin­gle event ever held in the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE).

PIC­TURES/SUP­PLIED

Alex Gold­sack and (in­set) Ge­or­gia Grimme, the two lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the New Zealand Spe­cial Olympics del­e­ga­tion head­ing to Abu Dhabi for the Spe­cial Olympics World Sum­mer Games.

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