A local organization that runs athletic events for people with intellectual disabilities is inviting the community to a public barbecue next week.
Brockville and Area Special Olympics, which runs a number of sports programs in the South Grenville region including a soccer league in Prescott, is hosting the barbecue to celebrate the opening of two new courts in Hardy Park for playing “bocce,” an Italian sport similar to bowling.
Dave Cavanagh, a volunteer with the organization, says the facility for the sport will be open to the public.
“We only use it for two hours in a given week on a Tuesday night,” Cavanagh says. “Really, what we’ve done is built this thing for the community as a whole. So what we’re hoping for is that people will go out and get together and play bocce.”
He says the idea to build a public outdoor court dates back to 2018, when a bowling alley closing ended the organization’s bowling program.
“We weren’t sure what to do,” Cavanagh says. “We had about sixty athletes participating in the bowling program every Saturday morning.”
“Our community coordinator, ever since the bowling alley closed,” he explains, “she had this vision of building a bocce court facility in the City of Brockville, so that both our athletes and the community could use it.”
Cavanagh also says people outside of the Special Olympics organization won’t need to spend money on any special equipment to try the sport out on the new courts.
“We’ve made an arrangement with the [Brockville Public Library], that you can borrow the equipment to play bocce if you have a library card for the Brockville Public Library,” he says.
If you want to see the courts or play bocce yourself, the grand opening ceremony is happening August 9th at 5:30 PM at Hardy Park in Brockville.