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Special Olympians from Hernando chosen for premier competition

This is kind of a big deal.

To the athletes of Special Olympics in Hernando County, being selected to attend the state competition at Disney's Wide World of Sports this weekend, this is their Super Bowl, or World Series. It's what they shoot for all year long.

"It is a big deal for them," Special Olympics coordinator Fred Click said. "However, there is only so much space that we have to choose who goes."

Athletes compete in the county and area games, and if they take home a blue ribbon, their names go in a hat, which is drawn from.

Chosen for bowling were Kassy Ayala, Larry Phipps, Elizabeth O'Brien, Todd Hill, Mark Swiconek, Sam Seymour and Angela Click. Chosen for power lifting: Tony Teetsell, William Terry, Bob DiBlasi, Tara Valveri and John Bowes.

Despite the limited space — which Special Olympics coordinator wouldn't want to take every one of his athletes? — Click feels the process for choosing is fair, once he takes into account a few things. Such as, which athletes have already been, if they're already been to state competition in another sport and if the athlete has been a good one, showing good sportsmanship and dedication throughout the year.

"We go through this process every year," Click said. "It's as fair as we can make it since they only allow so many to go, and I make sure that everyone gets a shot and a chance to go over the years. I hate to have a kid that's been in the drawing six years in a row and never gone."

MORE BOWLING: There will be a fundraising event for the Bambang Sunshine Project at 1 p.m. Nov. 16 at Land Glo Bowl in New Port Richey.

Cost is $12, which covers three games, shoes, ball and soda. Proceeds will go to the project, which was started in 1997 and supports disabled children with their basic needs such as physical, emotional and mental therapies, tuition and other needs the children many have.

For information, call Nena Schwartz at (727) 992-5492 or visit www.bambangsunshine

RUNNING: The second annual Hike for Hospice, 5K (3.1 miles), is to raise money for Gulfside Regional Hospice. It will happen twice in one day, Nov. 8 — once at 9 a.m. and a second time at 11 a.m.

The first will be at the Recreation and Aquatic Center at 6630 Van Buren St. in New Port Richey, and the second at Zephyr Park, 38116 Fifth Ave. in Zephyrhills. The cost is $35 for adults, $15 for kids 10 and younger.

For information, call Jennifer York toll-free at 1-800-561-4883.

MORE RUNNING: The 15th Annual Flapjack Festival 5K Run will be at 8 a.m. Dec. 7 at the Land O'Lakes Recreation Center. The cost is $15, or $20 the day of the race.

The run will be throughout the complex, making it similar to a cross-country run.

For information, call Kris Keppel at

SKYDIVING: Skydive City in Zephyrhills is hosting the Thanksgiving Skydive Boogie and Competition in November, with hundreds of divers competing for prizes.

For information, call (813) 783-9399.

HORSE RIDING: The Southeastern All Gaited Horse Association will host a show at 10 a.m. Nov. 22 at the Pasco Horsemen's Association, 13215 Fivay Road in Hudson. Signup starts at 9 a.m. and all gaited horses are welcome. For information, call Bob Glover at (352) 297-9056 or visit

VOLLEYBALL: The New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center hosts open volleyball nights from 6 to 9 p.m. every Thursday.

The sessions are open to all ages and are free to center members. Call (727) 841-4560.

JAZZERCISE: The New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center is hosting Jazzercise classes through December, with a flat fee of $50 to join.

Each one-hour class includes high-energy aerobic routines. Classes meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, at 6:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, and at 5 p.m. Fridays.

For information, call Suzanne Carlson at (727) 560-2383.

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Special Olympians from Hernando chosen for premier competition 10/27/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 27, 2008 9:03pm]
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