December 03, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Australia

A Trio of Football FIRSTS

By Anne Bawden

Amechai wearing in his medals from Kalgoorlie-Boulder Games in May.

A young lad named Amechai first attended a Special Olympics South Austrailia invitational games in Adelaide over 400 kms away from his home town of Mount Gambier. In those days it was a long lonely sojourn but in 2013 there was a growing local Special Olympics region including his favourite sport FOOTBALL. In 2008, as a 12 year old boy, Amechai was on the first Special Olympics South Austrailia soccer team at the Special Olympics National Junior Games. He traveled to New Zealnd competing with the Special Olympics South Austrailia football team in the first Special Olympics Transtasman games. Today he competed on Team Australia's football team in the first Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games! Only three years ago at the 2010 Special Olympics National Games, Amechai was the only Special Olympics local athlete welcoming the Law Enforcement Torch Run torch into South Austrailia from Victoria. Overcoming fears, barriers and the tyranny of distance, Amechai is a local hero and thrives on playing his favourite sport. With a fellow Special Olmpics Limestone Coast team member at Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games. I'm sure Special Olympics will hear many more success stories from this new Special Olympics region in time to come.

About Anne Bawden: I am Amechai's proud mum, taxi driver, Special Olympics volunteer and Special Olympics Limestone Coast founding committee member.
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