A LIFELONG love of sport has led Jayden Wright to the Special Olympics Australia National Games, representing his state for tenpin bowling.
Jayden is one of 11 from the twin towns headed to the Games in Adelaide to represent Victoria over the week’s competition, which starts on April 16.
Those competitors were all selected through their work with Special Olympics Australia’s Echuca Campaspe Club.
Jayden’s mother Wendy Wright said he could not be more excited to be competing — although it is not his first Games.
‘‘He’s been tenpin bowling for at least 17 years,’’ she said.
‘‘He was doing it in 2000, so maybe even longer.
‘‘When he started he was interested in tenpin and golf, but no other sport. He’s always been interested in sport, but those were his passions.’’
Having represented Victoria previously on the fairways and greens for golf, the Lockington local changed tack after the last Games, and swapped his irons for bowling balls.
‘‘He’s been to Melbourne and also to Macau (bordering Hong Kong and China) for previous Games with golf but this is different for him,’’ Wendy said.
‘‘He’s super excited. He’ll be very excited on the day we head to the airport that’s for sure.’’
It will be the first time Jayden has travelled to Adelaide. And alongside him will be his mother and father.
‘‘It will be very different for him,’’ Wendy said.
‘‘We’re going down as well to relax and to watch him compete.
‘‘Jayden and all the other competitors from up here are very lucky to have the supports in place that they do, with Marg (Gumbleton) and the team around her (at Special Olympics Australia Echuca Campaspe Club).
‘‘There are a lot of kids out there who don’t get the opportunities that ours do. We’re thankful for that.’’
Jayden will represent Victoria for tenpin bowling, while other sports that Echuca-Moama athletes are competing in are equestrian, swimming, basketball and bocce.
Get a copy of next Wednesday’s Riv to see all 11 athletes receive their uniform and bag ahead of the Special Olympics Australia National Games.