FORSYTH COUNTY — Forsyth County Special Olympians have a new athletic venue.
Permanent bocce ball courts were opened last week at Central Park for the athletes who enjoy the sport, one of many offered through the local Special Olympics program.
“Over the past five years the courts were made of PVC pipes which had to be broken down after each practice,” said Annemarie Raygor, publicity chairwoman of the organization.
“By building the Special Olympic courts, we now have a way for our families to enjoy the sport year round.”
Bocce ball, which was developed in Italy and is popular in many European countries, is gaining ground throughout the U.S.
It uses round balls, made of metal or plastic, which are tossed on rectangular courts, typically made of soil or asphalt.
Raygor said the new courts were paid for through fundraising efforts by Special Olympics families.
“A big thank-you goes to Forsyth County Parks and Recreation for letting us build on their land located at Central Park,” she said.
Raygor also thanked Laura Williams and Jim Reed, who coach bocce ball teams for Special Olympics.
She said Williams and Reed spent many hours working on the project, along with Susan Darlington, Special Olympics coordinator.
“They even visited other courts outside of Forsyth County,” Raygor said.
Special Olympics also donated one set of bocce balls and a score flip board, which will be kept at the front desk of the park.