The South Sydney Rabbitohs held their first Special Olympics Mini Olympics on Thursday 30 July at Redfern Oval as part of the build-up to this Friday night’s blockbuster fourth Special Olympics Cup match between the Rabbitohs and the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.
Around 30 participants – including five from Windgap – spent the morning rubbing shoulders with Rabbitohs players and competing for points as they looked to get their team over the line through a series of contests.
“We had four teams of about eight in each team and we ran the guys through a number of different skills,” said Rabbitohs coaching staff member and Windgap Ambassador Matt King.
“It was really good for our players (too). We had four of the boys come down and help out today. It’s just really good to keep the boys’ feet on the ground and put a bit of perspective into life because these guys have the biggest smile on their faces.
“It’s such a great day – I’m so happy to be a part of it.”
On the day, it was team Takattack who top scored with 239 Points, Floppy Ears coming in second on 161 points, the Bunnies in third on 151 points and the White Rabbits on 150 in fourth spot. All participants received participation certificates and goodie bags at the conclusion of the day.
General Manager of Special Olympics Australia, Karen Miller, was impressed by the level of engagement between players and participants on the day, with Rabbitohs players lending both a hand and plenty of encouragement during proceedings.
“What’s really come across is the player engagement of the Rabbitohs,” said Karen.
“We’re all about grass-roots sports leading into competition, so it’s fabulous to have such local heroes as the Rabbitohs come here and just engage.”
The Special Olympics Cup – to be played this Friday night – signifies an important partnership between the Bulldogs, Rabbitohs and Special Olympics Australia in providing a platform for thousands of Australians with an intellectual disability to reach their personal best both on and off the sporting field.
Pre-Game, Special Olympics Athletes who have recently returned from the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles will participate in a lap of honour at ANZ Stadium carrying a torch and lighting a cauldron as part of the event.
To learn more about Special Olympics, visit www.specialolympics.com.au.