Start of a special event in Maitland

Maitland will host the Special Olympics NSW state tenpin bowling championships this weekend.

SuperStrike at Rutherford will be the venue for the two-day competition with more than 160 athletes from around NSW expected to participate.

Cessnock’s Andrew Stuckings will lead the local charge, with the teenager already selected to represent his state at the Special Olympics National Games in Melbourne in October.

Andrew, who has an intellectual disability, has been bowling at Maitland for three years.

Special Olympics NSW co-ordinator and nationals head coach Deborah Lawrence said athletes were looking forward to the event.

READY TO STRIKE:   Andrew Stuckings of Cessnock will lead the local contingent in the Special Olympics tenpin bowling.  	Picture by   PERRY DUFFIN 170614PD037

READY TO STRIKE: Andrew Stuckings of Cessnock will lead the local contingent in the Special Olympics tenpin bowling. Picture by PERRY DUFFIN 170614PD037

“Some of these competitors have already been selected for nationals,” she said.

“They are selected the year before so they’ve already won their spot.”

A torch run will also be held on Saturday morning before the competition starts.

Athletes will join in the run from the roundabout at Harvey Norman to the centre from 9am.

“The torch run is something special we have at every state event,” Mrs Lawrence said.

“The police shut off part of the road and the athletes all get to run along behind it.”

Cameron Park’s Lorraine Archer, Gerrelle King from Shortland and Stacey Smith of Cardiff will join Andrew as the other Hunter-based tenpin bowling representatives at the National Games in Melbourne.

Rutherford SuperStrike is no stranger to hosting big events either, having hosted tenpin bowling at December’s Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games.