Special Olympics Beaufort/Hyde County to unveil new Bocce court

Published 3:19 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2023

By Ellen Brabo

For the Washington Daily News

The Special Olympics organization that serves Beaufort and Hyde County are set to break ground on a state-of-the-art bocce ball court after the turn of the year. The courts, open to the public, will be a welcome addition for enthusiasts of the sport and a significant improvement over the existing facilities.

Bocce ball, recognized as the third most participated sport in the world alongside soccer and golf, has been a part of Special Olympics since 1991. At the recent Fall Games Tournament in Charlotte, NC, athletes from Beaufort and Hyde Counties showcased their talents, with two doubles teams and one four-person team securing gold medals in bocce ball.

The new court will be located adjacent to the Hildred T. Moore Aquatic & Fitness Center. Eric Sedlacek, a Board Member and Coach with the Special Olympics Beaufort and Hyde Counties, shared his excitement about the project.

“Our new court will hopefully break ground after the first of the year, with a completion date in spring 2024,” said Sedlacek. “A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held.”

The initiative to create the new bocce ball court stems from the Special Olympics’ desire to provide a facility that meets high standards. The existing courts were deemed not level and not always in the best condition. Recent months have seen a surge in momentum as a local landscaper provided a quote which gained approval from the City of Washington Parks and Recreation Department and Advisory Committee.

The proposal, outlining the need for a new court, was also presented to the Washington City Council. The majority of the funding for this project, which is estimated to cost around $20,000, has been secured through a grant from Nutrien and generous donations from local sponsors.

With an eye towards the future, the organization will host its Spring Games at Washington High School on April 15, 2024. For more information on how to get involved or support the Special Olympics Beaufort and Hyde Counties, contact beauforthyde@sonc.net.