Going for gold at the Special Olympics.

Congratulations to OC Connections Day Support participants Darren, Craig and Damien who have been invited to represent the Victorian Bocce team at the Special Olympics in Launceston, Tasmania this year. Darren, Damien, and Craig all started with the Bocce team back in 2019 and the other team members welcomed them with open arms. They joined initially for fun, to expand on their hand- eye coordination, develop new skills, and to build a connection with team members.  

After years of playing the sport and twice weekly training sessions, Bocce Club organiser, Maree noticed that the men had a real knack for the sport and introduced the idea of playing on a professional level. Earlier this year, the opportunity of taking part in the Special Olympics was presented to the team.  

Having to travel to Tasmania for the competition was initially daunting for the team, however, after lots of conversations with the families, support coordinators, the Special Olympics committee, and the Bocce team organisers, a plan was put in place. This is a great example of how OC Connections works with participants and their closest supporters to understand how we can support participants to reach their goals, do new things and celebrate all that is important to them all of which forms the foundation of our Co-Achieve model. 

With a staff member accompanying the men to Tasmania the preparation is well underway. Darren, Damien, and Craig recently stayed up in the Dandenong Rangers’ at a ‘training camp’ in preparation for the trip. With regular meetings undertaken with the Special Olympics committees, transport and accommodation is all organised.  

All three team members see this opportunity as a great honour and a chance to reach some of their goals. Damien hopes to meet a girl whilst Craig and Darren wish to get out of their comfort zones and try their skills at something new.  

There have been many stakeholders that are involved in the process, and we want to thank each and every one of them in helping the men achieve their goals. We look forward to seeing how the team performs and wish them the best of luck.