Saba soars in Special Olympics Bocce

From June 14th to June 16th, Team Saba represented by Nicolas Bautista, Nacio Zaegers and Jayden Renfurm participated in Bocce for the Special Olympics Netherlands, hosted in the municipalities of Breda & Tilburg this year.

Team Saba

Bautista and Zaegers partnered again for the team competition, finishing in second place. Renfurm teamed up with Isaiah Courtar of Statia for a mixed team as both islands had an uneven number of athletes. The Saba and Statia pair finished fifth. For the individual competition, Bautista finished first place, defending his title as reigning champion with Renfurm securing fourth place.

Nacio Zaegers, who has been a part of the team since its inception stated the importance of attending the Special Olympics because of the connections made with new people, seeing more places in the Netherlands, and simply because bocce is fun. He attributes the team’s success and continued positive experience at these events to “good communication and always encouraging each other”.

The team was greeted upon their arrival to Saba on June 18 by Island Governor Jonathan Johnson and Commissioner Bruce Zagers, who congratulated them for their tremendous performance, as well as family members and supporters. The Special Olympics National Games is the largest national sporting event for people with intellectual disabilities, with the 2024 Games having had 21 sports tournaments scheduled, including athletics, gymnastics, table tennis, bocce, golf, swimming and horseback riding. Approximately 2100 athletes competed with each other this year.

In 2022, Saba attended the games for the first time and won gold medals in both the team and individual competitions.

Policy Advisor for Sports, Lauren Risley, stated “I love seeing the team thrive at this event because it’s all about them, and they deserve every moment of joy and excitement. From the Opening Ceremony to the final Awards, it is incredible to see them have so much fun and create unforgettable memories with their teammates and new friends”


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