Carnival good test for swimmers

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Southland Special Olympics Club have used a carnival in Gore on Sunday as preparation for a trip to Wellington.

The Eastern Southland Special Olympics Club held the carnival at the Gore Multisports Complex which was also attended by members of the Southland and Otago Special Olympics Clubs. The Special Olympics will be held in Wellington next month and club secretary Susan Shanks said the carnival was the perfect opportunity to prepare for them.

“When they enter the Special Olympics, swimmers send in a time and this is an opportunity to try to beat their time or update it.”

Shanks said this was the last week for swimmers to update their entered times before competing in next month’s games.

“It’s a good day to update their time. Say they put a time in of one minute and 10 seconds and when they compete they do it in 48 seconds, the committee would question that, so the swimmers can check their times are about right.”

The carnival was to benefit all swimmers who attended, Shanks said.

“We also had everything on offer that is needed to practise, like the Otago team are entering the relay and we put a mock relay team together on Sunday so they could practise against somebody,” she said.

“These competitions also mean they improve over time and it also creates a goal for them. They could swim every day or just for fun, but when they have something to work towards instead of just racing within their own club it’s much nicer.”

Shanks said the swimmers also enjoyed socialising with others.

“They always ask whether the people they met last time would be there.”

Three swimmers from the Eastern Southland Club will leave for the 2017 Special Olympic summer games on November 26. They will be supported in Wellington by team manager Ruth McRae and team support member Ian Elstob.