New Zealand bocce athlete Aaron Campbell was thrilled to compete at the Games and enjoyed a strong start – winning his first three bocce matches and going on to win Gold.
“My experience here has been amazing, absolutely amazing, just mind blowing,” he said.
The Packabocce courts used at the Messe Berlin complex have become common sights at top-level Special Olympics events across the globe but this year was the first time they have featured at the World Games.
Michael Spelman, head coach of Team Ireland’s bocce team for the Games, said the event was “extremely successful” because of the strong competition and high-quality playing conditions the courts provided.
He said his local club used older wooden courts but was considering upgrading to Packabocce courts to remove the hassle involved in setting them up, storing them and transporting them.
Many Team Ireland bocce athletes at the World Games played regularly on the Packabocce courts – particularly at national competitions or larger-scale events, Spelman said.
“I know their use is probably going to grow more and more because they’re so versatile.”
New Zealand bocce coach Logan Amer said the Special Olympics World Games had been amazing and it was “magic” seeing the athletes beaming as they enjoyed the experience of competing and interacting with the players and officials.
“I’m just really, really proud of my two boys for all the work they’ve put in leading up to the games and how they’ve performed in competition here today.”
Packaworld chief executive Peter Roberts attended the Special Olympics World Games as part of its Honoured Guest programme and relished seeing athletes play on Packabocce courts at the pinnacle of Special Olympics competition.
“It was just incredible to be there on the ground at the world’s largest inclusive sporting event and to see the athletes represent their countries with so much pride.
“To know we’ve played a part in making it possible for some of bocce’s best to compete like this makes us very proud. Seeing the smiles on the player’s faces is just golden.”
The Special Olympics World Summer Games are held every four years.
Packaworld launched its portable 60-foot by 12-foot competition Packabocce courts in 2013 to overcome issues of portability, transport and storage that arise with more traditional bocce courts made of wood.
Video: Bocce on Packabocce courts at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin
Video: Special Olympics World Games 2023 opening ceremony
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