Unified competitions are those that involve people with and without intellectual disabilities playing together in the same matches.
“These new courts play an important role in helping us offer authentic and credible sports competitions to people with intellectual disabilities. Through our competitions, including unified sports, we hope to change people’s perceptions of what people with disabilities can do, both spectators and the athletes themselves.”
Mr Massa said the number of Special Olympics athletes participating in bocce across New York was strong, but fixed courts were becoming harder to find for organisers working to organise competitions.
“The number of well made, public bocce courts is dwindling across our state so we now have to transport our own. The Packabocce courts have helped us stage credible bocce competitions throughout the state without investing thousands of dollars and work hours to build courts in each community.”
Packaworld chief executive Peter Roberts said the work Special Olympics did to inspire and introduce sport to people with intellectual disabilities was “life changing”.
“It’s humbling to be able to play a role in helping Special Olympics bring the joy of sport to people who might not otherwise get the opportunity to play. And to see bocce growing in an iconic location that is also home to one of the world’s greatest and most recognised cities, that’s fantastic.”
Packabocce courts were used for the Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games in May this year and the Special Olympics Florida State Games in 2018. They have previously been used at the Latin American Special Olympics Games, Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games and Special Olympics New Zealand National Summer Games.
Internationally, bocce is the fourth most popular sport among Special Olympics athletes, behind football, athletics and basketball. There were 440,887 people playing bocce in Special Olympics programmes around the world in 2018.
>> More information about our portable bocce ball courts is available on our Packabocce page.