Special Olympics swimming first in two years

The Special Olympics Eastern Southland hosted a tier one swimming meet at the Gore Aquatic Centre on Sunday.

Twenty-four swimmers from throughout Otago-Southland took part in the event.

The event had not been held for the past two years because of Covid-19.

Stroke by stroke . . . Gore swimmer Haidee McRae competes in the 100m breaststoke at an Eastern Southland Special Olympics tier one event in Gore on Sunday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Special Olympics Eastern Southland secretary Susan Shanks said it was an opportunity for swimmers to qualify for the national event in Hamilton in December or improve their times.

Eastern swimmers Dylan Elstob and Haidee McRae have already qualified for the nationals.

Elstob read the Special Olympic oath to start the competition, which says: ‘‘Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.’’

As well as competing, swimmers also enjoyed the social aspects of the event, Shanks said.

‘‘A lot of Special Olympics is competing, but it is also the friendships people make.’’