World cup hits town
THE One Mile Ovals were awash with colour yesterday as Football Gympie hosted the 2010 Gympie Apex World Cup.
Held in conjunction with the Gympie and Districts Soccer Association and Education Queensland, the soccer event was pitched for athletes with disabilities and was a load of fun.
The format for the day’s games was inspired by the FIFA 2010 World Cup, much to the delight of participants, who let their vivid imaginations run wild.
Students from Gympie, Maryborough and Hervey Bay schools played for countries in a draw similar to that of the real World Cup.
Carnival organiser Julie Downey was thrilled with the day’s success.
“We have 173 kids taking part today along with older kids who once played themselves taking on the roles of coaches and referees from the High Schools,” she said.
“It’s a great community event and I enjoy watching the kids giving it their best and having such a good time.”
Downey’s elation was shared by carnival patron Owen Pezet, one of many invited guests to speak before games got underway.
Pezet has been involved with the event since its inception in 2002 and was full of praise for Gympie Apex, who has been on board since 2004.
“It’s great to see all the kids out there running around having a good time,” he said. “There are so many smiles.”
Pezet said the carnival was growing more successful each year.
“It’s definitely getting bigger each year and we owe a lot of thanks to Gympie Apex for their involvement in helping this to happen,” he said.
“A great outcome from this carnival is that many young athletes decide to get involved with Gympie Special Olympics, which is such a great program.”
Scores were not recorded yesterday at the conclusion of play, with a focus on participation rather than competition, but with so many exhausted athletes eager for a night’s rest, everyone was a winner.