CWA hosts Armidale Special Olympic speakers

Sport stars: Special Olympics members Gregory Blanch, Sarah Williams and William Brunston at the Country Women's Association morning tea in Guyra on Friday.

Sport stars: Special Olympics members Gregory Blanch, Sarah Williams and William Brunston at the Country Women's Association morning tea in Guyra on Friday.

The Country Women’s Association were given an impressive presentation from members of the Armidale Special Olympics network on Friday.

Armidale athletes Gregory Blanch, Sarah Williams and William Brunston spoke to the group over some morning tea at the Guyra Uniting Church. 

Special Olympics committee member Ruth Blanch said the organisation has five million members worldwide and around 3000 in Australia.

“It’s for people with an intellectual disability,” Ms Blanch said.

“They organise sport and practice all year round.

“It’s so great because whatever your ability is you only have to perform at that ability.

“So a person that isn’t as accomplished as others still has the opportunity to win a medal.”

The organisation first came to NSW in 1979 with a club opening in Armidale in 1989.

Armidale club member Gregory Blanch said he has been part of the Special Olympics for many years.

“I have been lucky to win in national games in Hobart in 1998,” Mr Blanch said.

“I was in tenpin bowling and athletics in Singapore in 2005.”

Mr Blanch said athletes are currently counting down to the Trans Tasman Tournament.

The games, which will run between November 25 and 27, will see 121 Australian athletes take on their New Zealand colleagues in athletics and swimming.

The NSW network will be represented by 49 athletes.

Armidale Special Olympics member William Brunston said the organisation united athletes from around the district including Tamworth, Uralla and Glen Innes.

“Each week we train for our particular sports,” Mr Brunston said. 

“In summer we have tenpin bowling, golf, lawn bowls and swimming.

“In winter… some of the athletics train football.”

The next national games will be held in 2018.

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