Seven athletes and 22 police officers filled Ocean Street on Wednesday, April 12, carrying a torch and a powerful message.
Mount Barker to Victor Harbor was the seventh leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, created in 1981 to raise awareness for the upcoming Special Olympics National Games.
Law Enforcement officers and Special Olympic athletes have travelled 1400 kilometres across the state in the lead up to the games, which begin with the opening ceremony in Adelaide on Monday, April 16.
Superintendent Scott Allison, who is also the chair of the torch run, said the run was all about raising awareness for the Special Olympics movement and giving the athletes a voice.
“It’s all about inclusion and involving these athletes in mainstream activities, while allowing to play sport on a level playing field,” he said.
He said the run, which started in the US in 1981, had become a worldwide phenomenon.
“Different athletes and officers participate in the run every day and it allows us to get around and talk to locals about the games,” he said.
A cauldron ceremony at Warland Reserve followed the run, at which the Special Olympics athletes oath was read.
“The oath is ‘let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt’, which I think is just great for these athletes,” Supt Allison said.
Fleurieu swimmer Zara Taylor lit the Cauldron at the ceremony, along with speeches, other entertainment and a community barbeque.
The games will see 1000 athletes with intellectual disabilities compete across 11 sports from April 16 to 20.