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Selected Highlights from Day Two

Bocce at the Edgar Centre

Basketball, Indoor Bowls and Bocce continued to be held at the Edgar centre today. With the divisioning over yesterday, most of the players were competing in teams, fours or pairs, depending on the sport. 

Bocce finished its divisioning ahead of time yesterday, with most of the divisions finishing very closely to each other. Sport Manager Stew Hewett said that it “was good to see some nice classy bowling”.

This morning the Bocce athletes competed in the team games, with four to each side. This afternoon saw the beginning of the pairs games, and the awards ceremony for the earlier team games. 

Stew said that both days' competition "have been great, the athletes are very enthusiastic and have an amazing tolerance to everything around them which makes everything run better". Of the games he notes that the players have been unusually "timid of the walls" preferring to play right down the centre, which requires more precision and skill. 

Stew says his favourite part of being a sport manager is catching up with everybody, because "you make good mates with all the athletes – they are a great bunch of guys". 

When asked about the effort put into the National Summer Games 2013 by all of those involved, Stew said, "the volunteers have been tremendous – we have been exceptionally lucky".

In Bocce, there are several volunteers required on each court to keep score, record, measure and perform several other important duties. Thanks to the many dedicated volunteers and experienced umpires, Bocce has been able to continue right through the last two days without a hitch. 

Basketball at the Edgar Centre

Basketball was held at the Edgar Centre from Wednesday 27 (Day One) to Friday 30 November (Day Three). There were 191 athletes making up a total of 23 basketball teams. 

Teams competed in the team skills and teams competition sections, with divisioning taking place on Day One. 

On Thursday (Day Two), all teams started the day with the skills competition, which included dribbling, shooting, and passing. This was followed by team competitions for the rest of the morning. 

Games were four 10-minute quarters and teams had a maximum of two games per day. 

It was a tough day for the competitors, with only five minutes' rest between the intense skills competition and the first team competitions for the day. The 40-minute games are gruelling, especially for the teams with as few as six players.

Coaches prepped their players well for the competitions, telling them to have fun and share the ball around.

Golf at Chisholm Park

There were 31 athletes from 13 different teams competing at three different levels at the Games. 

Level one is the individual skills contest. Level four is the nine-hole individual stroke play competition. Level five is the 18-hole individual stroke play competition.

Day Two's competition saw groups of six compete in the skills competition, while groups of two or three competed in the nine-hole, and 18-hole competitions.

It was a sunny but windy day, which made for tough conditions for the athletes. At the end of the day, however, there were some good holes played and all of the athletes agreed that they had tried their best and had fun. 

Ten Pin Bowling at Bowl Line 

Ten Pin Bowling for the Special Olympics New Zealand National Summer Games 2013 is being held at 'Bowl Line', an 18-lane venue on Kaikorai Valley Road.

Bowling is the largest event at the National Summer Games 2013, with 238 athletes competing in both teams and singles.  

Divisioning was held at Bowl Lines yesterday (Day One), and team competitions kicked off this morning at approximately 8am (bright and early!). The atmosphere in the venue was lively as athletes cheered on their fellow teammates and chattered excitedly to each other and their coaches while lining up for the healthy athletes programme which is being held upstairs. 

Sport and Venue manager Carol Cook has said that the whole experience has started off a little bit chaotic, but has settled down today as teams, coaches and volunteers get their bearings on the event. 

"Some great bowling was done yesterday, with all of the athletes doing really well. One athlete in particular brought his handicap down from 40 to eight, which is a fantastic achievement," says Carol.

She says that while Bowl Lines has never hosted the Special Olympics Games before, the venue holds weekly Otago practice games, ribbon games and Regional Games. 

When asked what she enjoys most about working with people with special needs, Carol responded, "they are your best friends, no matter what, and you get a lot of hugs, no matter where you go".  

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