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Georgia Special Olympics to be held in Statesboro starting in 2008
Jamie Riggs
Jamie Riggs, exective director of the Convention and Visitor's Bureau - photo by PHIL BOYUM/staff

    The Statesboro Visitor's and Convention Bureau, in conjunction with the Georgia Special Olympics, announced Tuesday that the Georgia Fall Games will be held in Statesboro starting in 2008.
    Georgia Milton-Sheats, the CEO of Georgia Special Olympics said, "We came down and looked at the facilities and the organizers went far and above when it came to a professional bid package that essentially lured us here."
    Around 1,200 athletes are expected to participate in the games. In addition, they will be accompanied by about 300 coaches, 150 able-bodied teammates, as well as numerous parents and relatives.
    The fall games will feature five individual and team sports: long distance running/walking, cycling, golf, softball and bocce — a game similar to lawn bowling.
    Milton-Sheats said that what impressed the selection committee most was the support from the entire community — individuals, groups and businesses.
    "A lot of people got together to put the bid package together," the CEO said. "It was a great mix of people from the community."
    Jamie Riggs, exective director of the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, agreed with that assessment.
    "Community involvement and facilities. We also had great cooperation from Parks and Recreation, the school board and GSU," said Riggs. "The facilities at Mill Creek are so polular.'
    Riggs also said the convention bureau is trying to secure more sports-related event here in Statesboro and Bulloch county.
     "We're trying to showcase our facilities as far as sports tournaments go, because they put more 'head in beds' as they say," said Riggs.
    Statesboro successfully competed for the right to host the games against other cities such as Albany, Valdosta, Columbus and a suburb of South Atlanta.
    Thanks to effort by the convention bureau the Special Olympics State Fall Games will be held annually in Statesboro from 2008 thru 2010.
    The 2008 games will be held next October 3 — 5. The games are expected to require somewhere between 750 — 1000 volunteers. Organizing volunteers and securing sponsors has already begun.

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