After years in Greenville, the annual Special Olympics South Carolina Fall Games will move to the Grand Strand this weekend.
“We are excited about having our state fall games in Myrtle Beach and Conway this year,” Special Olympics SC spokeswoman Leigh Lowery said. “This will be the first year that we’ve held this event in the area.”
About 1,500 delegation members are expected to compete. The fall games are one of the largest Special Olympics competitions in the state.
Lowery said the Greenville facilities were excellent hosts, but could not keep up with the growth in participants.
“We really got to the point where we started outgrowing those facilities and then we had some housing challenges,” she said. “We started looking at other places around the state but really saw the Myrtle Beach and Conway areas as an ideal place to have this event.”
Lowery said the facilities in the Myrtle Beach area used for the fall games were not badly damaged by Hurricane Florence and its flooding aftermath.
“They actually didn’t get a whole lot of damage,” she said. “So most of the playing fields and surfaces are perfectly fine for our competition. We know that there still might be some road closures so we are still monitoring that so our directions are accurate.”
Most of the events will be at Coastal Carolina University. The bowling competition is at two alleys in Myrtle Beach. Although the competition was recently held in Greenville in partnership with the Greenville Recreation Department,
Lowery said Special Olympics SC is considering making Myrtle Beach a long-term venue for the fall games.
“We’re really thrilled about trying out a new location and being at the beach, which we all know is a gorgeous part of our state,” she said. “So pretty much everybody’s excited about the move and really excited about the new partnerships that we have with the city of Myrtle Beach and the Convention Center . . . Coastal Carolina University.”
Registration and Opening Ceremonies will be at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center on Friday. The competition begins Saturday at Coastal Carolina University, Myrtle Beach Bowling Center and Surfside Bowling Center.
“We’ve got some bowlers in our group. We actually have a lot of bowlers,” Lowery said.
All events are open to the public and free. Click here for more information on Special Olympics SC.