By Stacey Heaney
Hilden Primary School pupil Curtis
O'Brien who came first in the Special
Olympics Ulster Bocce Event.
US1707-138A0 Picture By: Aidan O'Reilly
A SEVEN year old who is a familiar face at Lisburn Leisureplex
beat competitors much older than himself to finish first in his
Bocce Division at the recent Ulster Special Olympics
Championship in the Jim Baker Stadium.
Little Curtis O'Brien, a pupil at Hilden Integrated Primary
School, plays the sport which is similar to lawn bowls at the
Leisureplex each Thursday.
He has been a member of the 'Together Special Olympics Club' for
just over a year and his friends and family are delighted at his
His mother, Diane, was immensely proud of her son's achievement:
"Curtis beat adults, one who was almost 50 years old, to win his
division," she added.
"He also played an exhibition game against a young chap Glen
Ballance who is 15 years older than him and is going to the
Special Olympics in Beijing.
He's been playing just over a year and he's absolutely enjoying
it. We're all so proud of him. He's our wee champ."
Diane also said Curtis was following in the footsteps of her
father who also played bowls in the past.
"This is Curtis' only form of getting out and playing with other
children. It's absolutely fantastic that there are clubs such as
this for children like Curtis and who knows, in four years he
could be going to the Special Olympics," she concluded.