Washington College Hosts Special Olympics Bocce Tournament Tuesday; Volunteer Opportunity

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Chestertown’s status as a bocce town is about to take another step forward. This coming Tuesday, May 22, approximately 300 student-athletes and 40 coaches are scheduled to compete in the 2018 State Outdoor Bocce Tournament, a Special Olympics event to be held at Washington College. 

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competitions –just like the Olympics.  Participation is open to anyone eight years of age or older with intellectual disabilities.  

And helping to set up and run the tournament will be local volunteers – possibly including you!

Locally, there will be teams coming from Kent County High School, Queen Anne’s High School, and Kent Island High School.  They will be competing with teams from all over Maryland including teams from Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties.  The opening ceremony is at 10:30 Tuesday morning and the games commence at 11:15-am, ending about 3:30 pm.  An award ceremony will follow.

Jack Brosius, a resident of Chester Harbor and a long-time Special Olympics coach, said that this was an especially good opportunity for anyone who would be interested in learning how to set up a truly portable Bocce court.  It can be done in jig time with just a little training and enough hands.  Of course, everyone –volunteer or not– is welcome to come watch the games and cheer for Maryland’s Special Olympians. You do not need to have experience in the sport to volunteer. 

Washington College president Kurt Landgraf, a strong supporter of Special Olympics, will be a speaker at the opening ceremonies. The Maryland state Special Olympics office is coordinating the event.

Jeff Abel, the volunteer coordinator for Special Olympics MD, issued a call for volunteers to help set up and run the tournament. He noted that so far “Numbers look pretty good, but we could always use some additional hands if they are available.” Help is needed  on Monday, May 21 (set up) and Tuesday, May 22 (event day).  All volunteers will receive a free t-shirt and lunch– this is in addition to that good feeling of knowing you’ve helped a worthy cause plus the fun of watching these wonderful athletes compete.  

Set up will run from roughly11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday. The main job is getting the bocce courts down, which goes pretty quickly with enough hands, Abel said.

Anyone interested can contact volunteers@somd.org, or call/text 410-206-0453. Online registration is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2018OBocceVols.”

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

9:00 – 9:30 a.m. —Volunteer Registration

9 – 10 a.m. Schools Arrive
10:30 
a.m —Opening Ceremony
11:15 a.m. – Competition Begins; Lunch is available
p.m*. – Award Ceremonies
p.m.* – Departure

* – tentative time; awards based on win/loss record

The event will be held at Roy Kirby Jr. Stadium at Washington College. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved to Wednesday, May 23.

The mission of Special Olympics is “to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for persons eight years of age and older with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.” Through the use of sports, the organization is working to create “a world where opportunity is not limited by disability.

Special Olympics Maryland offers many other great events throughout the year where people can volunteer or just come out to watch!

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