THE SPECIAL Olympics Regional Basketball skills competition was held in the Sligo Regional Sports Centre. It was a very successful day for all thirty three athletes in the Connaught region.
The eight clubs competing were Aoibhneas Day Services, Athenry Centre, Athlone Special Olympics Club, Ballina Special Olympics Club, Erris Special Olympics Club, Glencastle Special School, Swinford Special Olympics Club and Wisdom Services. Helping at the event were some Transition Year students from Sligo Grammar School, volunteers from Abbott Diagnostics Division Sligo and Special Olympics volunteers.
Conor Deane from Glencastle Special School recited the Athlete's oath on the day: "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me brave in the attempt"
The Athletes competed at three stations - the target pass, spot shot and the ten-metre dribble. The target pass is a test of the athlete's passing skills. They must stay in a three metre square marked on the ground whilst attempting to hit the basketball within a one metre square marked on the wall in front of them. This was followed by the spot shot which tests the athlete's shooting ability. There are six shooting points marked on the floor, the first point is one and a half metres out to the side of the basket and then one metre back from it. The two other points are half a metre back from the original point. This is carried out on both the left and right sides. The athlete is allowed two attempts at shooting at each of the six points. Lastly was the ten-metre dribble. This is where the athletes dribble the ball as fast as they can down a ten metre lane, when they reach the end they must hold the ball in both hands.
All athletes competed very well and there were many ribbons and medals won. All of the awards were presented to the athletes by Deirdre Lavin, the Sports Co-ordinator of the Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership.