The official countdown to the Special Olympics National Games will begin this Saturday with a mini Olympics event in Gawler Place, Rundle Mall and a torch ceremony which will mark the start of the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
Four events of the Special Olympics will be showcased at the Coles Mini Olympic Games which will officially start when the law enforcement officers and the mounted squad arrive at Gawler Place.
Special Olympic athletes will be joined by Special Olympic ambassadors such as Sally Hunter, Brett Maher and Daniel Kirk to “play off” against each other in Basketball, Tenpin Bowling, Soccer and Golf, with the public warmly welcome to have a go.
Coles State General Manager Sophie Wong said Coles was delighted to put on the Mini Olympics to help create awareness about the upcoming games.
“The Mini Olympics is a great way to celebrate the fact the National Games will begin in Adelaide in less than two weeks.
“We are very proud to sponsor the Games for the first time this year. It is part of our commitment to encourage greater inclusion in our communities and help young people to lead active, healthy lifestyles. We congratulate all the athletes on their involvement in the Games and know they will inspire so many Australians when they compete in Adelaide later this month,” she said.
The event also marks the start of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, with SA Police travelling to the banks of the Might Murray River in Mildura to officially receive the Flame of Hope from the Victorian Police custodians on Monday.
From there, the Police will travel 1400km over 8 days and 12 runs to raise awareness of the National Games before heading back to Government House on the 16th in time for the Opening Ceremony that evening at the Titanium Security Arena.
Michael Klose from the police said that the Law Enforcement Torch Run has now become an iconic part of the Special Olympics National Games.
“What started in Kansas in the 80s has now rolled out across the world. The police globally are the official guardians of the Flame of Hope and we couldn’t be prouder.”
“It’s terrific to have a public event like this to raise awareness prior to our regional tour across South Australia next week,” he said.
Adelaide residents can get into the spirit of the Games this Saturday in Gawler Place, which will be transformed into the Coles Mini-Olympics Games site. The event will run from 10.30am – 2pm with free giveaways and medal presentations occurring throughout day thanks to Coles. Participation is free.
The Special Olympics National Games will see 1000 athletes with intellectual disabilities compete across 11 sports from 16 April. For more information head here.