Special Olympics: Teamwork is a goal for Allenvale

Allenvale School basketball player Luke McDonald in action at the National Summer Games at the...
Allenvale School basketball player Luke McDonald in action at the National Summer Games at the Edgar Centre yesterday. Also pictured is Chris Ramlose (Rotorua). Allenvale won 51-24. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
New boy Luke McDonald was one of the stars of the Allenvale School basketball team that had a big win in the National Summer Games yesterday.

McDonald (19) joined the team this year and has shown skills in dribbling the ball up the court and putting it through the hoop.

''I've lost count of how many goals I've scored this year,'' he said. He is enjoying the Summer Games.

''Basketball is fun to play and you can meet new people,'' McDonald said.

''It's my first time to Dunedin and I was a bit nervous at the start.''

Next month, McDonald will compete in AWD events in track and field at the New Zealand secondary schools athletics championships in Hamilton..

The best player in the Allenvale School (Christchurch) team yesterday was Bradley Garner, who was skilled at putting three-pointers through the hoop.

The Summer Games has been a year-long project for the Allenvale basketball team.

''We train after school one day a week,'' manager Megan Gare said.

''We have an athletics club as well and members of team get fit from that.''

Sport is a significant part of the curriculum at the school.

''It is huge value for us coming to the Summer Games. The pupils' self-esteem grows and their teamwork grows.

''They make new friends. It's an experience they wouldn't get anywhere else. It is very valuable.

''We work a lot on teamwork and it becomes a big unit during the week. Everyone encourages each other.''

In its first game of the tournament at the Edgar Centre yesterday, Allenvale School beat Rotorua 51-24.

There were three members of the squad who had not shot a goal before that game and the team goal was for everyone to put the ball through the hoop.

''Everyone had a shot at the hoop and they all got at least one shot in,'' Gare said.

Allenvale had competed at Palmerston North in 2009 and this was the second time for the school at the Summer Games. Five members of the eight-strong team competed in 2009.

It cost Allendale School $6000 to bring its team, managers and coaches to Dunedin for the week.


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