After a hectic morning following the Opening Ceremony, the Aquatics competition kicked off at Moana Pool. There are 215 athletes entered in aquatics, competing across myriad events. The aquatic events will run all week, from midday Wednesday 27 November to midday Saturday 30 November.
Seven events were scheduled for Day One of the competition. Before the events could get underway, the athletes were given time to warm up and get to the marshalling area. The first event was the 400-metre freestyle final at 1.30pm, followed by 25-metre butterfly, 50-metre breaststroke, 100-metre backstroke, 200-metre freestyle, 25 metre backstroke, and last but not least, the 4x25 metre freestyle relay. There were a few ups and downs with smiles and tears, but in all it was a great day, with all athletes supporting their peers and having a blast competing.
The football competition is being held at the University Oval number 2 ground on Wednesday 27 November, Friday 29 November, and Saturday 30 November. (The Teams will take part in Healthy Athlete Screening on Thursday 28 November.) There are 49 athletes making up seven football teams competing at the National Summer Games 2013. Over the course of the week, teams will compete in the FSAT skill competition followed by a round robin divisioning round and competition round. Each divisioning game will be made up of seven-minute halves with a two-minute half-time break. Competition games are made up of 20-minute halves with a three-minute half-time break.
Day One of competition concluded after seven rounds of football, with teams from Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay, Hutt Valley, North Harbour, Otago, Waikato and Wellington all competing. Athletes, coaches, volunteers and family members bore the cold weather to get out and support all of the participants. At the end of the day, there was only one winner for each round, but more importantly, all of the competitors enjoyed themselves. Furthermore, the support that the athletes had for each other was outstanding. When an athlete fell down, teammates and competitors alike would help each other get back up.
Indoor Bowls is being held in the MoreFM Arena section of the Edgar Centre (the location of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies). Participating teams in the Indoor Bowls tournament total 106 athletes from Special Olympics Otago, Southland, Manawatu, Hawke’s Bay, Wanganui, Auckland, Canterbury, Horowhenua, North Canterbury, South Otago, South Taranaki, Tauranga, Te Awamutu, Thames Valley and Whangarei.
Day One saw the Teams’ Games, wherein four players compete against each other on each side. The athletes compete in three different grades, A, B and C, each with varying rules regarding coach assistance.
Carol Roulston, an athlete on the Otago Indoor Bowling team, had an unfortunate incident on her way back to the Arena when she twisted her ankle coming off the raised basketball courts. She was taken to the first aid station where her ankle was attended to and strapped up, but insisted on continuing to compete from a wheelchair despite being in pain, as not to let her team down. This act of sportsmanship by Roulston was described by Sport Director Eddie Girdler as “true Special Olympics commitment”.
On Thursday (Day 2) teams will play in pairs in the More FM Arena.