Special Olympics Illinois Fall Games set for Oct. 27-28
• Opening ceremonies at Machesney Park Harlem High School Oct. 27
Online Staff Report
NORMAL, Ill. — More than 700 Special Olympics athletes from all over the state will compete at the Special Olympics Illinois Fall Games, which will now include equestrian competition, Oct. 27 and 28 in Machesney Park and Poplar Grove.
Volleyball competition will take place at Machesney Park Harlem High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28.
Equestrian competition will take place at BraveHearts at the Bergmann Centre in Poplar Grove, Ill., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, and 8:30 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Oct. 28.
More than 450 volleyball athletes will be competing in traditional team, modified team or Unified team play, with 45 athletes competing in the individual skills competition. The individual skills competition involves different skill tests that the athletes participate in including forearm pass, overhead set and serve. Unified teams include players with and without intellectual disabilities that compete against other Unified teams.
Nearly 120 athletes will compete in equestrian competition, including dressage, English equitation, showmanship, stock seat equitation and working trails.
In the past, equestrian competition has been part of the Outdoor Sports Festival Fall Games in Decatur.
Tracy Hilliard, Special Olympics Illinois vice president of sports training and competition, said: “We are very excited to be able to host our event at the Bergmann Centre. It is a state-of-the-art therapeutic riding facility that offers all the amenities we need to ensure a phenomenal, safe event. The athletes, coaches, families and horses are going to love this facility.”
Athlete participation per event is as follows:
• Six athletes competing in Equestrian Dressage;
• 57 athletes competing in Equestrian English Equitation;
• 22 athletes competing in Equestrian Showmanship;
• 62 athletes competing in Equestrian Stock Seat Equitation;
• 56 athletes competing in Equestrian Working Trails;
• 45 athletes competing in Volleyball Individual Skills Competition;
• 137 athletes on 15 teams competing in Volleyball Modified Team Competition;
• 267 athletes on 29 teams competing in Volleyball Traditional Team Competition; and
• 66 athletes on six teams competing in Volleyball Unified Team Competition.
The opening ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, at Harlem High School, 1 Huskie Circle, just off North Alpine Road in Machesney Park. A victory dance follows and will feature a Halloween costume contest.
Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 11,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics changes lives by empowering people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.
To learn more about Special Olympics Illinois, call 800-394-0562 or visit www.soill.org.
Posted Oct. 24, 2012
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