Overcoming Hurdles at Special Olympics

Holistic Horizons Support Services and Developing Australian Communities

Julie Latcham, Marketing and Communications Manager, Holistic Horizons Support Services, recently supported 3 of their talented clients to attend the Special Olympics National Games held in Launceston Tasmania 17-22 October 2022. Talking to Developing Australian Communities this week Julie described the experience and the amazing efforts of those she was supporting. Mr Night, Co-founder and Director at Developing Australian Communities has attended many Special Olympics events and this year’s games were another great achievement by athletes.

Opened by Federal Minister for the NDIS, The Hon. Bill Shorten, the event was an opportunity for Ethan, Shaun and Breanna to shine, and shine they did amongst the more than 1000 attendees.

Ethan Chan, participant of Holistic Horizons and their client ambassador, won Gold and Silver medals in Ten Pin Bowling and was also previously a world champion swimmer before he had a shoulder injury. Ethan has participated in the Special Olympics for the past 18 years. Shaun Mckee, another participant of Holistic Horizons, won Bronze medals in the men’s 5km and 10km runs and placed 5th in the men’s 100M run. He has participated in the Special Olympics for 11 years. Breanna Halpin, daughter of one of Holistic Horizon’s support workers, won Gold medals for the Relay run and Javelin, as well as, Bronze in the 200m running event. She has participated in the Special Olympics for 2 years.

“Their training in the lead up to the games was evidenced by their performances and their success as they joined together with other participants and their families to enjoy a celebration of achievement, said Mr Night.

“The feats of endurance, perseverance and heroism were on full display as they challenged themselves to their limits and beyond to compete and win in the pursuit of athletic excellence, camaraderie and friendship, said Mr Night.

“The opening and closing ceremonies were described by those attending as a celebration of pure joy seen in the smiles of participants and their supporters, whose commitment to training for the events in the lead up to the games and their dedication to their performances in their chosen sports, were awe inspiring.

“The opening and closing ceremonies were fantastic with amazing performances from the Australian Army Band”, Julie said. “I was highly involved in the Games, being one of the Event Announcers for the Athletics events as well as the Athletics presentation ceremony.

“I felt parts of the Games were very well organised but others needed more structure. Julie explained, Ethan was disappointed in the fact that he was not able to explore the town of Launceston and had to stay with his team the entire time, even if they were doing nothing.

“I felt it would have been nice if he got to see more of Launceston whilst he was there with his fellow athletes and friends. Ethan wanted to come with me one afternoon to

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