Tweed athletes? special chance to shine
By BOB ANTHONY
A GROUP of Tweed athletes are hoping their success in the 2006 Special Olympics VIII National Games may see them selected to represent their country in China next year.
The athletes, swimmer Brendan Borger, golfer Craig Read, runner Chris Hendry and ten pin bowler Suzie Philip came away from the Games held on the Gold Coast with gold medals and big smiles and have given themselves excellent opportunities for selection for the World Games in Shanghai next October.
For Brendan, it was his fifth national games and the gifted breastroker came away with two golds, a silver and a bronze to add to his growing collection of sporting medals.
He won gold in the 200m breastroke, as part of the 4x 50m medley relay, a silver in the 100m breastroke and bronze in the 50m breastroke.
Golfer Craig Read was participating in his first National Games and showed his prowess on the golf course winning the 36-hole event as Games debutant.
Fellow Games first-timer Suzie Philip won gold in the ten pin singles and a silver in the ten pin doubles, while runner Chris Hendry picked up gold in the 100m sprint and as part of the 4 x 100m relay team and a silver in the 200m.
It was an oustanding achievement for the athletes, and being part of the Games left a profound impression on them. For Craig, Brendan and Suzie, the opening and closing ceremonies were particularly impressive.
The opening ceremony was held at the Gold Coast Convention Centre and Craig said it was fantastic just to walk into the building and have all the athletes there.
All three said the closing ceremony at Dreamworld was a lot of fun, with more than 1000 athletes attending.
All the Tweed athletes have now qualified for selection for Shanghai's World Games, and with only one athlete per sport per state eligible, the Tweed's representatives may just have to brush up on their Chinese!