Memento for a very special sport day

Tomorrow is the big day!

It's the annual Forbes Special Sports Day and while this is always a great day of games for those involved, 2021 marks the event's 40th anniversary.

To mark the occasion, participants will receive a special medal provided by OCTEC.

OCTEC are very proud to support 40 years of the Forbes Special Sports Day, held annually at the Red Bend College, and operated by the founder, Dianne Decker AM.

They've reflected on some of the history of the day, which started in 1981 and involved wheelchair sports held at the Forbes Showground.

A fond memory of these times were the participants playing tricks on each other with the shearing beds in their sleeping quarters.

A few years later many of these participants were involved in the Paralympics which led to the sports day evolving into a day for intellectually disabled participants to be included.

Many schools from Canberra, Sydney and the Central West became involved at this time and students were able to compete in events such as swimming and athletics races.

Now 40 years on, the Special Sports Day is held at Red Bend College with the students assisting in all aspects of the day for the visiting schools including organising the races, calling the races and being supporters of everyone visiting.

This day is about inclusiveness, having fun and participating in different sports events with others from around NSW including schools from Orange, Parkes, Forbes, Dubbo and Condobolin, as well as Wangarang and Glenray.

It would not be a Forbes Special Sports Day without each school and group marching in their sports colours to the playing of bagpipes and the Red Bend drummers.

Don't envy the judges their choice as they watch the march with a view to presenting the Forbes Advocate march past trophy to just one team.

This day could not operate each year without the ongoing support of Dianne Decker, Molly Nelson running the cafe and the Red Bend College and its students.

OCTEC love to support fantastic initiatives like this day and love seeing the smiles on the participant's faces when they receive their medal at the end of the day.

The Forbes Special Sports Day will be held this year on Wednesday 5 May, commencing with Bishop Columba opening the day with morning tea at 9:30am, followed by the March and sports activities and novelty races.

Andrew McDougall OAM with the medals OCTEC is supplying for participants in the 40th anniversary Special Sports Day.

Andrew McDougall OAM with the medals OCTEC is supplying for participants in the 40th anniversary Special Sports Day.