International Day of People With Disability: A diverse sporting event with buddies

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Go for gold: The buddy system really adds something extra to the people’s experience at the Sky's the Limit Mini Olympics.

Go for gold: The buddy system really adds something extra to the people’s experience at the Sky's the Limit Mini Olympics.

The Kerryn McCann Athletics Track in Wollongong played host to over 280 competitors from Sydney, the Illawarra and beyond when local Disability Service Provider, Essential Employment and Training hosted its ninth annual Sky’s the Limit Mini Olympics for people with disability recently.

The Illawarra’s largest sporting event for people with disability aims to be a fun day out that promotes healthy lifestyles and the competitive spirit.

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Competitors could strut their stuff with track events including 50m sprints through to the 400m and a variety of field events including shot put, vortex throw, long jump and high jump.

One of the first things you will notice about the Sky’s the Limit Mini Olympics and something that differentiates it from other sporting events, is the buddies who participate with each competitor.

Commenting on the buddy system, EET CEO Amanda Calwell-Smith said, “We are lucky to have some very supportive local high schools who provide us with students each year to act as buddies.

“When we buddy up students and competitors at the beginning of the event they don’t know each other but as the day progresses they build a rapport and bond - it’s great to see.”

The Sky’s the Limit Mini Olympics is more than a sporting event, as it is a day that celebrates diversity, broadens perspectives and enriches the community; it could be said that its greatest achievement is a very simple one - putting smiles on faces.

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