Ballarat athletes taste success at special olympics

Ballarat special olympics athletes proved their might on the international stage at the Asia-Pacific Games.

Fran Wellard, Josh Kennedy, David Hamilton and Ben Williams represented Australia at the largest multi-sporting event for people with an intellectual disability, where more than 2000 athletes represented 32 countries.

The opening ceremony was held at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle earlier this month, where 24,000 people attended.

Kennedy, who was runner-up in the 100 metre men’s freestyle, said he loved the focus and attention the Australian team received from thousands of people cheering them on. 

Women’s basketball gold medalist Wellard said she really enjoyed meeting new friends in the Australian team and from other countries.

“It was so much fun. I want to try out for the 2015 world games in Los Angeles,” Wellard said.

Gold and silver ten-pin bowling medallists Williams and Hamilton competed in the team and doubles bowling events. 

Williams said it was great to hear “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi,” as he was bowling.

“It felt amazing as I walked out in to the stadium and had 24,000 people cheering me on. It was a fantastic feeling,” Williams said.

Hamilton said the best part of the experience was receiving the medals.

“The games were great. I made new mates and I want to thank my supporters.”

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