Liberty Township trustees on Tuesday approved installation of at least one court, at Fort Liberty Playland, before the end of November, weather permitting.
“We have the money to build one at Fort Liberty,’’ said Larry Tischler, chairman of the Butler County Special Olympics Advisory Board.
“We’re hoping to raise another $5,000 and complete a second one at the same time. I feel good; I think we’ll be able to do that.”
Two courts would be constructed simultaneously at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields at Fairfield’s Hatton Park, Tischler said.
Money for the construction is coming from two $5,000 donations – one from the Fairfield Community Foundation, the other from the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty – and an anonymous donor.
The concrete courts will have an artificial turf-like playing surface and will be constructed by Bown Enterprises at a discount. A 60-foot wide by 90-foot long area would be used for two courts at each site, Tischler said.
Between now and spring Special Olympics would work with officials in both communities to set up leagues, recruit players, schedule times to use the fields, along with recruiting coaches and mentors, Tischler said.
Officials from both communities say they are pleased to add the fields.
“It adds another adaptive use,’’ said Jim Bell, Fairfield’s director of parks and recreation. “It allows another venue for people of all abilities. Someone with special needs can play alongside someone without special needs.”
“I’m all for it,’’ added Liberty Township Trustee Tom Farrell. “It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the country.”
Tischler said Special Olympics would only be using the courts a small percentage of time. When there were no competitions or practices going on, they would be open for community use.
“I think it would be a great bonus to the township, to the community,’’ said Liberty Township Trustee David Kern.
- Checks should be made out to Butler County Special Olympics and mailed to P.O. Box 13324, Hamilton, OH 45013. Put bocce ball fields in memo line or attach a note.
- Donate online at www.bcospecialolympics.org
- For more information or to volunteer as a coach or Special Olympics athlete partner call Larry Tischler at 513-460-7994
About Bocce Ball
- The basic principle is to roll a bocce ball closest to the target ball, called a pallina.
- The surface of a bocce ball court can be composed of stone dust, dirt, clay, grass or an artificial surface.
- Courts measure 12 feet wide by 60 feet long. Side and end walls may be made of any rigid material with side walls being at least as high as the bocce balls.
- In 2011 there were 162 Special Olympics programs that sent athletes to bocce competitions. That year 216,929 Special Olympics athletes competed in events.
- Next to soccer and golf, bocce is the third most participated sport in the world and was established as a Special Olympics sport in 1991.