Jackson named Special Olympics ambassador

BASKETBALL legend Lauren Jackson was named official ambassador for the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games today.

The four-time Olympian was at Hunter Stadium to throw her support behind the games, which Newcastle will host in December this year.

She was joined by Special Olympic athletes Stephanie Alderton, Geoff Kirby, Belinda Price and Wayne Hurley.

Jackson said she was proud to be part of such a significant event in the Hunter.

‘‘I think the spirit and the talent of these guys is amazing,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s something we should aspire to and I think it’s going to be great putting them on centre stage.’’

Special Olympics chairman John Trevillian said the games would bring more than 600 visitors to the Hunter and a $20 million injection for the economy.

Organisers will soon put a call out for volunteers.

‘‘We’re looking to the Hunter Valley to get behind us from this moment and work with us,’’ Mr Trevillian said.

The opening ceremony will be held at Hunter Stadium on December 1 before about 2000 athletes from 32 countries battle it out in nine sports.

Basketball legend Lauren Jackson with athletes Mel Eustace, Belinda Prince, Geoff Kirby, Stephanie Alderton and Wayne Hurley. Picture: Anita Jones

Basketball legend Lauren Jackson with athletes Mel Eustace, Belinda Prince, Geoff Kirby, Stephanie Alderton and Wayne Hurley. Picture: Anita Jones