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Special Olympics curtain-raiser for NZ Breakers

Media release from IHC
18 December 2007

Special Olympics curtain-raiser for NZ Breakers game

Two teams of Special Olympics basketballers will battle it out on the court before the Harvey Norman NZ Breakers game against the Wollongong Hawks on Thursday (20 December).

Breakers General Manager Richard Clarke wants to encourage basketballers with intellectual disabilities by getting local teams to play curtain-raisers before Breakers' games. This week's curtain-raisers between the North Harbour and the Whangarei Special Olympics teams at North Shore is the first of these games.

Richard Clarke has a special interest in encouraging these players. Under the IHC Volunteer programme he has a buddy, Andrew Boyce, 24, who plays basketball for North Harbour and is as mad on sport as he is.

There are six games left to go in the NBL season, which finishes at the end of January. Richard is hoping to arrange curtain-raisers at each of the remaining games. Teams will come mainly from the Auckland area to play at the Breakers' North Shore stadium, but he also wants to involve teams from the top of the North Island.

"What we are trying to do is to just give these guys a chance to come and have a bit of fun. The ones I have talked to have all been very excited.

"There is going to be no special hoop-la we want it to be a ordinary thing," he says. However there will be special ticketing deals for the families of players.

Richard says his involvement with the IHC buddy programme is a personal matter "it's not a club thing". But it doesn't stop him encouraging club members and fans to think about joining in.

Richard's buddy Andrew spends a lot of time around the Breakers and comes to most of the games.


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