Dunedin to host 2013 Special Olympics

Dunedin will host the Special Olympics National Summer Games in 2013, a four-day event tipped to bring an estimated $2.5 million to $3 million to the city.

The event, for young people and adults with an intellectual disability, was expected to attract more than 2500 athletes and supporters from around the country.

It will be held in late November-early December with 10 sports events at venues around the city.

Special Olympics New Zealand chief executive Alastair Hutchens said it was a very competitive bidding process.

Other cities, including Invercargill, Nelson and Christchurch, were in the running.

"Dunedin's proposal was very sound and we think it'll do a very good job."

In Dunedin's favour was its holding of the Masters Games, which showed the city had the infrastructure to hold such an event, and the relative closeness of all the venues to the city, he said.

"It was very evident in the bid. This is a smaller version than the masters, but the nature is very similar."

Volunteers would be required to help run events.

Dunedin's bid was led by the Dunedin City Council and Mayor Peter Chin said he was delighted to be hosting the event.

"It shows our compact city infrastructure is right up there. And I know the city's residents will be inspired by these dedicated athletes."

It was estimated the event would bring about $2.5 million to $3 million of economic benefit to the region.

The Edgar Centre and Lion Arena would host nearly half the events, along with the opening and closing ceremonies.

Swimming events would be held at Moana Pool, athletics at Logan Park Caledonian, golf at Chisholm Park and equestrian events at the Otago Equestrian Centre, at Mosgiel.

Athletes would be accommodated in the University of Otago halls of residence.

Palmerston North will host the 2009 national summer games.

The Masters Games held earlier this year in Dunedin attracted 7000 athletes and had an estimated economic impact of $5.1 million.

 

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