Locals feature in huge event
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).
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.