Dare County Special Olympics bocce team named division champions

Published 5:05 pm Saturday, January 6, 2024

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Dare County Special Olympics has announced that its bocce team “The Wright Rollers” was named the Division I champions of the 2023 Special Olympics North Carolina Fall Tournament, which was held in Charlotte.

“Under the leadership of head coach Laura Davis, The Wright Rollers demonstrated the skill, strategy and sportsmanship it took to win while playing with integrity and respect for fellow players,” said assistant coach Kathleen Morgan.

During the 2023 Special Olympics North Carolina Fall Tournament, 1,100 Special Olympics athletes competed in bocce, cycling, soccer, golf, roller skating, softball and tennis.

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The Wright Rollers include team captain Kasey Fairley, Channing Skinner, Gina Anderson, Kevin Cottee and Julius Levesque.

“The Dare County Special Olympics bocce team would like to thank the following people for making their dream possible: Coach Laura Davis, our awesome and ‘sparkly’ coach; Dowdy Park and the Baum Senior Center for use of your bocce courts for eight weeks of practice; the Virginia S. Tillett Community Center for use of your van for transportation to and from Charlotte; and Sarah and James Dilley, Jimmy Davis, K.E. and Kathleen Morgan for everything you always do,” noted the announcement.

About bocce:

Bocce originated in Italy and is also known as “boules,” which is similar to bowling. It has become increasingly popular among Special Olympics North Carolina athletes. Bocce as a Special Olympics sport provides people with special needs the opportunity to have social contact, develop physically and gain self-confidence. Next to soccer and golf, bocce is the third most participated in sport in the world.

Did you know?

  • Bocce became an official Special Olympics North Carolina sport in 1991 at the Summer Games held in Greenville, North Carolina.
  • 1992 marked the first year bocce moved from the Summer Games to the Fall Tournament.
  • In 1992, bocce had the largest increase in participation of any sport – from 40 athletes in nine local programs in 1991 to 108 athletes in 18 local programs in 1992.
  • Dare County hosted the first Bocce Training Camp in Manteo in September 1991 with 25 coaches from six local programs participating.

For more information about Dare County Special Olympics, go to darenc.gov/departments/parks-recreation/special-olympics.