Athletes meet Challenge in Townsville
18 August 2011
The Townsville Sports Reserve came alive at the end of July with an influx of more than 750 students from state, private and catholic schools who travelled from all over Queensland to participate in The Challenge Games.
Previously known as the North Queensland Athletics Carnival for Students with Disabilities, the 2011 games opened with a motivational speech from Paralympic athletes Karni Liddell and Jarrod Moncur who encouraged the students to follow their dreams into the world of athletics.
Representatives of Townsville's national sporting teams were present as well with two players from the Crocs basketball team and under 20s Cowboys rugby league players who got involved in many of the events.
The emphasis as always was on participation and fun with children from five years to 18 invited to attend and all disability areas included.
They participated in an array of sports including track events, long jump, frisbee, bean bag throw, shot put, relays and team ball games. Two new Paralympic events were included this year, sitting volleyball and boccia, and there was an opportunity to trial modified soccer and cricket.
Students described the games as a 'life changing experience', and a parent of a 14-year-old told organisers 'this is the first race my child has run'.
The Challenge Games has been a volunteer-run event for more 15 years and was a regional finalist in the Department of Education and Training 2010 Showcase Awards.