Special Olympics Gibraltar National Games Are Back, at Lathbury facilities
After an enforced break due to Covid the Special Olympics Gibraltar National Games are back with a vengeance this week for the first time since 2019. With the usual international competition being provided by the Isle of Man, whose team arrive on Wednesday, the Games commence at 6 pm Wednesday evening with the now familiar opening ceremony, law enforcement torch run and athletics competition, but which for the first time this year will be held in the very impressive new facilities at Lathbury.
The following morning at 9 am the football competition kicks off in the Special Olympics Sports Complex, with the football team from Algeciras joining the Isle of Man and Gibraltar. Another innovation this year will be a bocce tournament between Gibraltar SOG athletes and the Isle of Man which kicks off at 5pm on Thursday, in the tennis court in the Bayside complex, where the teams will be competing for the inaugural presentation of the Paola Poggio Memorial Shield. Paola was a popular SOG bocce coach and committee member who was a mainstay of Special Olympics in Gibraltar for many years and who very sadly passed away earlier this year. The Shield will be presented in her memory to the team with the most points overall.
On Friday morning the bowling competition gets underway at 9 am in the Kings Bastion Leisure Centre with the final event being the swimming at 6 pm on Friday in the GSLA pool. As usual the proceedings will be drawn to a close with the closing ceremony at the pool and followed by an athlete, family and volunteers barbecue at the Retreat Centre.
Special Olympics Gibraltar National Director Annie Risso said “after such a long break, which nobody wanted and which was very frustrating for our athletes, it is great to be getting back to international competition again. We would like to remind everyone that the events are all open to the public and we hope to see as many family, friends and supporters as possible to cheer on our teams.” The events start 6 pm Wednesday at the Lathbury Sports Complex.