Fun for all at special Olympics

THE focus was on fun yesterday at the Gladstone PCYC, when intellectually impaired youth and children from schools around the Gladstone region participated in a mini Special Olympics.

To start this year's Disability Action Week, the PCYC joined Special Olympics and Disability Services to provide the free activities day from 10am until 2pm.

PCYC promotions and events manager Thea Roberts said they had 80 kids with carers and a multitude of volunteers present for an interactive and fun day.

Special Olympics Gladstone was established in October last year and volunteer committee chairwoman Debbie Knust said the organisation contacted all the local state schools for their involvement and were excited to see what the feedback would be from the event in its inaugural year.

Knust said the children, from various schools, were divided into four age groups and the groups rotated between basketball, football, dance and tennis.

Splitting the groups meant the older teens could receive more advanced coaching.

The basketball element was coordinated by Knust's 20-year-old son and Special Olympics athlete Adam Knust, along with a handful of eager PCYC staff.

Gladstone Special Olympics football coach Ken Lee was joined by Capricorn Cougars coach and regional development officer Joe Fenech to run the groups through football drills and teach them a thing or two about lining up the perfect shot.

The participants were also provided with a delicious lunch, including hamburgers, salad and fruit.

"We're also trying to teach them about healthy eating," Knust said.

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