COMPETITION RESUMES
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Team Australia were back in action today as competition resumed. Photo: Paul Wiggins, Special Olympics Australia.

Following a well-deserved rest day yesterday, athletes resumed competition across all sports today thanks to the many volunteers who are making these Games happen. Today is International Volunteer Day and with 5,000 volunteers in Newcastle right now the city has truly embraced the volunteer spirit.
 
The Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games was recognised in federal parliament today. Click above to check out the video.
 
UNSUNG HEROES
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Volunteers are running fundraisers across all venues, well done community champions! Photo: Alex McNeilly, Special Olympics Australia.
 
2,500 athletes from 32 countries would simply not have the opportunity to enjoy the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle if it wasn’t for the 5,000-strong volunteer army who are making the Games happen.
 
Today, on International Volunteer Day, we pay tribute to the thousands of men and women providing support at the Game’s seven sporting venues, eight Athletes Villages, catering centres, Young Athletes program, Healthy Athletes program, medical centres, media rooms, as well as event volunteers for sports competitions and Opening and Closing ceremonies.
 
Thank you for giving up your time to support the athletes of Special Olympics!
 
Volunteer Recognition
Today, a thank you event was held for Games volunteers at with Special Olympics Australia athlete ambassadors Chris Bunton and Andrew Radford in attendance to officially thank volunteer representatives for their contribution to the Games.
MEET SOME OF OUR VOLUNTEERS
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Volunteers and officials at the Tenpin Bowling. Photo: Eva Yao, Special Olympics Australia.

As Village Manager for Cypress Lakes Resort, Katina and her team of six volunteers manage the accommodation, catering, transport and all onsite activities for the Village’s 640 athletes from Australia, Western Samoa, American Samoa, New Zealand and Singapore.
 
Katina says, ‘I’ve always loved helping people, I have a passion for volunteering at sporting events and have done so at numerous international events around the world.’
 
‘The experience so far has been absolutely fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed working closely with all teams but particularly with Team Australia. On the way to the Opening Ceremony, I was on the bus revving up our Aussie athletes before they marched into the stadium. Seeing their spirit and enthusiasm brought a tear to my eye, it was definitely one of the best moments of the Games for me.”
 
Pamela McDonnell is a member of the Team Australia medical team for athletics. Pam has been volunteering for Special Olympics Australia for over 20 years, working two Sundays every month and at least once a week.
 
Working in partnership with the team doctor, Pam provides care and supervision for the 46-strong Aussie athletics team, giving remedial massages and assisting in first aid.
 
Pam says she is passionate about Special Olympics.
 
‘I love what I do. It’s all about the athletes and seeing the smile on their faces really makes it all worthwhile.’

SEND YOUR CHAMPOGRAM
Still wondering how to send your champogram? Check out this video from our ambassador Peter Overton explaining the #champogram concept.

You can send a message of support to the Aussie team via a champogram. Simply record a video, take a photo or write a message and post it via Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #champogram in the post. Alternatively post your message to the Special Olympics Australia facebook wall. Once moderated, your message will appear on our champogram wall.
Amanda Stevens (centre) and her support crew, (left to right) nephew Samuel, mother Gail, father Don and sister Katie.
 
DIVERSITY ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD
Athletes, volunteers and local celebrities joined in a football match at Newcastle Sportsground No.2. Photo: Eva Yao, Special Olympics Australia.

The Newcastle Sports Grounds came alive this afternoon with a football match of a different kind as more than 50 athletes, volunteers and rugby players filled the pitch in an inspiring show of diversity and unity in sport.
 
Athletes from Australia, Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Timorlest and Japan joined players from local rugby union team - The Wanderers, and volunteers from the Games and St Johns Ambulance in a friendly match of football. Men, women and people with and without an intellectual disability of all sporting capabilities made up the colourful team, which was cheered on by more than 100 supporters sitting in the audience stand. It was a fantastic end to an action-packed day on the football field.
 
OUR CELEBRITIES
Team Australia cricketers sign autographs for local school children. Photo: Eva Yao, Special Olympics Australia.

Our Aussie athletes in aquatics, football, cricket and Basketball received visits today from local schools with great enthusiasm in a demonstration of the huge engagement the Games has received from local communities.
 
Team Australia athletes at a number of sporting venues were pleasantly overwhelmed today with requests for signatures and photos from primary school students in the Newcastle area.
 ;
TAKE ACTION
DONATE to the team.
ATTEND the event.
MESSAGE Aussie athletes.

AND PROMOTE OUR NEWS
Please share our news via your own personal or business channels. All content is cleared for the promotion of Special Olympics Australia.
 
Team Australia media contact:
Sharon Nixon, Special Olympics Australia media@specialolympics.com.au
0406 821 461
 
If you want to volunteer with the media team in Newcastle get in touch!
SPORTS ROUNDUP
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Click the image above to view highlights from day 4 of competition.

Athletics
Newcastle Knights great Danny Buderus made an appearance at the Hunter Sports Centre today to present the medals to the athletics athletes.
 
Luke Rout from Orange in NSW took out two gold medals, winning mens shot put and mens 200m.
 
Luke was thrilled with his efforts. "This is my 13th year in Special Olympics and I am so happy with my performance."
 
Cheered on by her family supporters, Amanda Stevens secured a bronze in the FIS 100m, while Jason Dodson achieved a personal best in winning the bronze in long jump and Paul Bowmaker also won a bronze.
 
Aquatics
To date, the Australian aquatics team have racked up an amazing 58 personal best performances and it was a clean sweep in the pool for the Aussies today in the 400m freestyle. This morning Australia took out the first five positions in the men’s 400m freestyle and the first four in the women’s 400m freestyle.
 
For the women, Claire Pearson of NSW took gold, Deana Horvat of Victoria silver, Ruby Lawler of Queensland bronze and Lucy Dumitrescu of NSW fourth.
 
In the men’s event, Ben Morrison of Victoria won gold, followed by local Hunter athletes Keiran Corry and Tristan Finnen, with Ashley Tyler of South Australia and Brendan Foley of NSW rounding out the positions. Several of the men achieved personal best times in the race which had the crowd cheering as competitors went neck and neck from start to finish.
 
The win was particularly special for Ben who was determined to win gold for his grandpa.
 
‘My grandfather once told me to never give up swimming and to keep trying to do my best, and I promised I would,’ Ben said.
 
Sadly, Ben’s grandparents lost their lives in one of Australia’s worst natural disasters, the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009.
 
You can view Ben’s story on ABC News at 7pm on Friday 6 December 2013.
 
Jason Dodson's personal best of 2.94m helped secure him bronze in M7 long jump. Photo: Andrew Sadleir, Special Olympics Australia.
 
Basketball
Today over 100 school students flooded into Newcastle Basketball Stadium to cheer on our basketballers and with such incredibly strong matches there were stomping feet all around the arena.
 
The finals kick off tomorrow from 10am with the competition to be as fierce as ever. The gold medal matches are scheduled for 11.15am with Australia set to dominate the medals in both the male and female divisions.
 
For a bit of fun entertainment there will also be a scratch match of Aussie basketballers versus Aussie supporters at 12.30.
 
Bocce
Charlestown Bowling Club hosted yet another amazing day of bocce competition today with tomorrow set to be a ‘clap-fest’ with all medals to be presented in a gala event. One of the great stories from bocce is around Anne who is an 87-year-old volunteer. Anne worked full days on Monday and Tuesday where she was allocated to Team Bangladesh. They now were lovingly refer to her as ‘Grandma’. Anne returned to the bocce venue today to help the team out… even though she wasn’t scheduled to work! Awesome work, Anne!
 
Cricket
A big day on the cricket pitch today with the Indian team bringing home a big win against Australia! Their head coach Dr. Anil Sharma said the team has been having a huge amount of fun at the Games, enjoying playing the sport and meeting new people. They’ve only lost two games so far and are pretty proud of scoring 100 runs in 20 overs - a brilliant result!
 
Football
On the football field today, Australia were happy to report that their best game in their Special Olympics Games campaign was against Bangladesh and they’re looking forward to suiting up for their next game tomorrow at 1pm. The team is having a brilliant time representing their nation and making new friends from all around the Asia Pacific region!
 
5 a side Football action from the match between Australia A and Australia C. Liam O'Donnell and Robbie Streeting (right) after the match. Photo: Peter Muhlbock, Special Olympics Australia.
 
Table Tennis
A hard-fought competition ended with a bronze medal in combined age group singles for Cassandra Bonomo from the Australian team. Cass was beyond excited to proudly display her medal for all to see, a token for all of her hard work this week! The men’s and women’s singles table tennis is now complete and is to be followed by the men’s and women’s doubles matches tomorrow.
 
Tenpin Bowling
This afternoon at Superstrike Maitland the Aussie team were on form with the Aussie women’s doubles teams winning in every single division.
 
The day ran smoothly and by 3pm, competition had wrapped so there was time to loosen up with some dancing.
 
Mayor of Maitland, Peter Blackmore, Paul, Michael and Kate from Network Twenty-One and Ann-Maree Putney a top Australian tenpin bowler were on hand to present medals and ribbons with the Australian team dominating the podium.
 
Well done Aussie bowlers. Today our team were awarded:
 
11 gold
11 silver
6 bronze
4 4th places
2 5th places
 
issue eleven | 05.12.13

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