The Special Olympics comes to Casey

The City of Casey will be hosting both the July and September weekends of the Special Olympics, with the first batch beginning on Saturday, 6 July. Picture: ON FILE.

By Ethan Benedicto

The Winter Special Olympics are just a day away, with the weekend of 6 to 7 July shaping up to be packed with six sports across Casey Stadium and Casey Fields.

With the goal to platform athletes with intellectual disabilities and autism by showcasing their determination and sportsmanship, this weekend is only the first leg with the summer games already set for September.

The first day on 6 July will begin with marshalling at 8.30am, then the opening ceremony between 9am to 10am and the Victoria Law Enforcement Torch Run to follow soon after.

The opening ceremony will be held at Court 1 in Casey Stadium, with basketball, gymnastics and netball beginning at 11am, and finishing at 5pm, 1pm and 4pm respectively.

Bocce will be the only outdoor sport played during the day at Casey Fields, and will be running from 11am to 5pm.

Sunday 7 July offers a similar line-up, with the addition of table tennis in Casey Stadium from 11am to 4pm.

Basketball and bocce have earlier starts at their respective venues, running from 9am to 3pm, with gymnastics starting at 8.30am and netball at 9am; both sports conclude at 12pm.

All sports competitions throughout the duration are run in accordance with the Special Olympics sport rules, which are adapted to accommodate the wide range of skills and abilities of competing athletes.

Furthermore, all Special Olympics athlete members with all skill levels – from beginners, to intermediate to advanced players – are able to compete.

The City of Casey has a notable history with the Special Olympics, having hosted the Victoria State Games in 203 which had 400 athletes competing in various sports from swimming, athletics and AFL.

Putting excitement aside, the Special Olympics provides groundwork for cultivating empathy and inclusivity within communities, as well as pushing for systematic changes for those who face health disparities.

It also provides an environment for participants to build self-esteem and confidence, with the opportunity to take part in the experiences and achievements in sport which plays a crucial hand in personal growth.

For more information on the Special Olympics, as well as the September games, visit