She says this success is thanks to the passion of local volunteers, and the easy to set up portable ‘Packabocce’ courts introduced at the 2013 event.
Volunteers had been needed to support the Special Olympics Asia-Pacific Games. Ms Greig approached several clubs, and Charlestown Bowling Club was picked to host the event thanks to its willingness to get involved in the event and help out with volunteers from the club.
“For the Asia-Pacific Games, we utilised the bowlers as volunteers and referees. I trained them up in preparation and gave them an opportunity to play. Now they store the eight courts, and have taken ownership of them.
“When we require the courts, our contact person puts the word out and the volunteers all come to the fore and want to participate. On the day of the competition, they put up the courts, referee the games, put on a barbecue and pack everything away. They love it and they ask when we're coming back.”
Ms Greig says between 12 and 20 volunteers usually put their hands up to support these eight court regional and state competitions. Charlestown Bowling Club has also taken on the role of running fortnightly training sessions for Special Olympics athletes, supporting Ms Greig in her role as a coach.
“The sport has grown since the Asia-Pacific Games and have-a-try days. Other regions have taken up bocce thanks to this success. I suppose it’s down to the ease of being able to go anywhere and play bocce”.
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