Friendship and fun at Special Olympics

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After a wonderful five days the Boccia teams from Scotland West have returned from the 40th Anniversary Special Olympics GB in Stirling.

The event lived up to everyone’s expectations, full of friendship and fun, meeting friends from past games and new friends for the first time, including teams from Belgium, Germany and Macau.

There were so many exciting events, beginning with the grand opening ceremony which had a wide range of enjoyable singers and  musicians. The highlight of that evening for most were the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and a special visit from King Robert the Bruce and his knights. The games mascot, ‘Wallace’, made his first appearance and was present at all the fun events to add that extra encouragement to all the athletes.

A ceilidh on Saturday night, a closing ceremony on Sunday night and a range of events in the athletes village all made for a very enjoyable time for everyone, with some time to relax between a very heavy games schedule. This time the participants did not have any free days but were involved in competition every day.

Everyone rose to the occasion and played Boccia to their usual high standards with very close margins in so many highly competitive games. Every player rose to the inspirational Olympic oath, being brave in the attempt to do their best.

The Boccia squad were delighted for each other, winning silver, bronze and fourth place in the team events. The singles events, spread over two days, were even more competitive and the squad’s efforts were rewarded by individual gold, silver, two bronze, two  fourth and two fifth place medals.

The team from Lochgilphead came back with fourth place medals, and in the singles events Flora Currie won bronze, Iain MacDougall won fourth and Campbell Ferguson won fifth.

Special Olympics Scotland West and Lochgilphead branch would like to thank everyone who supported them in making this possible with fundraising and donations. Grant MacDougall organised the ceilidh with so many wonderful singers and musicians who gave freely of their time and expertise.

Thanks also to Jolomo and the Tai Chi Club for their generous donations.

Finally a special thanks to head coach John Gillies, assistant coaches Mary Gillies and Scott McColl for all their hard work and time preparing everyone for this event.