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Athlete Josh McClellan and his unified tennis partner, Greg Hayward, will represent Bloomington in the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 on March 14-21 in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

McClellan and Hayward are among a 13-member delegation from Special Olympics Illinois who will be taking part in the games. The contingent includes seven Special Olympics athletes, two Unified partners and four coaches.

Special Olympics Unified Sports teams have people with and without intellectual disabilities competing together as teammates.

McClellan has participated in Special Olympics for 18 years. He earned two silver medals at the 2006 Special Olympics National Games in Ames, Iowa. The World Games will be the first time he has traveled outside of the U.S.

Hayward has been a volunteer with Special Olympics for 35 years in a variety of roles.

The Special Olympics USA team is comprised of 215 athletes, 65 coaches and approximately 34 delegation members who support team operations. Team members will compete in 18 of the 24 sports offered.

The Special Olympics World Games are held every two years, alternating between summer and winter Games.

State basketball tourney: The Special Olympics Illinois State Basketball Tournament will be March 15-17 at Illinois State's Horton Field House and Illinois Wesleyan's Shirk Center.

The event will include more than 1,650 Special Olympics Illinois athletes and 520 coaches. More than 140 teams will participate.

To compete in the tournament, athletes must have trained for at least eight weeks. Senior/Male and High School teams qualified through one of eight regional tournaments. Teams will play at least two games and the tournament is played according to IHSA rules.

Action runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on March 15, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 16 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 17. Opening Ceremony will be at 7 p.m. March 16 at Horton Field House.

Volunteers are needed. Persons interested can register online at https://www.soill.org/event/state-basketball/

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Sports Editor

Sports editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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