Hundreds of swimmers will take their marks on the starting blocks today at The Forum Sports & Aquatic Centre located at the University’s Callaghan campus.

Take your marks for Special Olympics

02 December 2013

Hundreds of swimmers will take their marks on the starting blocks today at the region's only indoor heated 50 metre swimming pool as part of the Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games.

Special Olympics torchThe Forum Sports & Aquatic Centre, located at the University of Newcastle's Callaghan campus, will host four sessions from Monday 2 December to Friday 6 December, including more than 40 individual and team events in the aquatic competition. The Forum will also host the badminton competition which will include individual and doubles events on the same days.

NUsport CEO, Chris Hicks, said The Forum was very proud to be part of the Games which will create seven days of great sporting moments for more than 2500 athletes with intellectual disabilities, who are competing in nine sports in the Hunter.

"Over the four days of competitions we are expecting hundreds of spectators to watch these athletes from 32 nations across the Asia Pacific rim compete for pool and badminton honours," Mr Hicks said.

Normal parking fees at the University have been waived during the Games. All the events during the Special Olympics are free for spectators and volunteers. More than 100 registered volunteers will be working at The Forum throughout the week.

Mr Hicks said the University of Newcastle and The Forum were busy preparing for athletes, volunteers and guests of the Special Olympics.

"A major lighting upgrade has been undertaken in The Forum's two courts and the pool area with energy efficient LED lighting," Mr Hicks said.

The Forum University and Harbourside Centres are also official Games Apparel outlets with a range of pins and apparel for sale.

About The Forum: When The Forum Sports & Aquatic Centre was built at the University of Newcastle, the building, the grounds and the pool were constructed to be environmentally considerate. The pool construction included the largest solar water heating panel system in the southern hemisphere. NUsport has recently invested in refitting all the lights in the pool and court areas to be more energy efficient. The facilities are used by more than 14,000 members of the local community and sporting organisations, University of Newcastle staff, students and alumni.