Special Olympics athletes partake in Healthy Athletes Program at 2013 Asia Pacific Games

NEWCASTLE'S international visitors to the inaugural Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games have returned home a little healthier than when they arrived.

Throughout the Games last week, which saw 2500 athletes with disabilities from 29 countries go head-to-head in nine sports, the Healthy Athletes program offered free health checks to all athletes.

The program was run by volunteers from the University of Newcastle in conjunction with local doctors, dentists and clinicians.

It was conducted at Broadmeadow PCYC.

From November 28, when the athletes arrived, to December 4 when the Games started to draw to a close, the volunteers performed eye, ear and teeth checks to ensure all athletes were fit to train and compete.

The different areas were called Opening Eyes, Healthy Hearing, Special Smiles and Health Promotion - which educated participants on how to maintain their overall well-being.

It was developed to provide health and education services to the athletes, while transforming the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities.

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