Students from Every Child Counts (ECC) represented the island of Abaco in the recent 2017 Special Olympics Bocce Nationals in Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera. Athletes from Grand Bahama, New Providence, Abaco and Eleuthera all participated.
The students enjoyed two days of spirited competition with singles matches and an opening ceremony launching the event on April 28 followed by team competitions and doubles matches on April 29.
Medals were presented during an awards ceremony that afternoon, and ECC students proudly secured singles and doubles medals for their efforts.
Not surprisingly, bocce has become the official sport of Special Olympics. Bocce is a ball sport. The objective of the game is that there is a small ball called the jack or the pallino, which becomes the target. The pallino is called a moving target because when the game starts the first player moves it into play.
Each team takes turns trying to get their balls as close to the pallino as possible. One point is given for each bocce ball that is closer to the pallino than the opposing team’s bocce balls. The pallino distance marker can be used to determine which balls are closer, so by the end of the game, the team who has their balls closest to the pallino wins.
The game continues until the person or team obtains the pre-determined points set by the players before the game starts. In this instance, however, athletes were able to score between one to four points in a game with each team having four balls to roll.
Overall, those in attendance saw the event as a major success with great support from the athletes as well as the community of Eleuthera. The next competition takes place at the Special Olympics Annual Track and Field Nationals at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in New Providence on May 27.