Tournai and Mouscron prepare to host the “Special Olympics”
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    Tournai and Mouscron prepare to host the “Special Olympics”

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    Tournai and Mouscron will host the national “Special Olympics” from Wednesday to Sunday. Around 3,400 athletes from 320 clubs, all with intellectual disabilities, are expected to compete. 276 athletes will be from Walloon Picardie.

    Mouscron and Tournai have been preparing for the event for several months. 9 different sites will be used.

    The athletes will be looked after by 1,200 trainers and 1,800 volunteers who regularly accompany them to sports events. Logistical assistance and security will be provided by 6,000 volunteers. The events will take place from 9am to 5pm on Thursday the 10th and Friday the 11th of May and 9am to 3pm on Saturday the 12th of May.

    The events in Tournai will be held at the Tournai-Expo hall (cycling, judo and table tennis), the Clovis bowling centre (bowling), the Kain tennis club (tennis), the Green Lion Sports hall (triathlon, swimming, netball) and the Sports hall (floorball and basketball).

    In Mouscron, the events will be held at the Motte sports complex (gymnastics), the Dauphins swimming pool (swimming), the Europe hall (badminton), the Red Cross equestrian centre (equitation) and the Futurosport complex (football, motor activities, sports games, adapted physical activities and athletics).

    On Wednesday the 9th May there will be a Torch run (14.8 km) between the Mouscron administrative centre and the Futurosport hall, which will start at 1pm. The athletes will then be taken to Tournai by bus for the second part of the race, between the Town Hall and the Esplanade de l’Europe sports hall.

    After being carried by 200 athletes, the “Flame of hope” will be taken to the Grand Place in Tournai, where the opening ceremony will take place at 7.30pm. Prince Laurent and Princess Claire and athletes Tia Hellebaut and Jolien D’Hoore will be in attendance.

    The closing ceremony will take place at the Futurosport complex in Mouscron on Saturday the 12th of May, between 5pm and 6pm.

    Andy Sanchez
    The Brussels Times