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Ventura County Roundup | East County / THOUSAND OAKS

CLU to Host 200 Special Olympians

October 19, 1998|MICHAEL GOTTLIEB

More than 200 Special Olympians from San Diego to San Luis Obispo will compete in the fourth annual "5-a-Side" Soccer Tournament at Cal Lutheran University on Saturday.

The opening ceremony will be at 8:30 a.m., and competition starts at 9. After the competition, athletes will receive awards, prizes and goody bags at a 4:30 p.m. ceremony.

Bob Martin, director for the Special Olympics for Ventura County, said that with CLU's help, the tournament has been able to expand from about half a dozen teams to as many as 20.

The county Special Olympics group provides year-round sports training and athletic competition to more than 650 athletes with special needs. The soccer tournament is one of 21 events featuring 18 sports meant to build skills, confidence, strength, motivation and self-esteem.

This year's competition will be the first for the university, but Bruce Bryde, CLU director of athletics, said he hopes to host the annual tournament from now on.

"We hope it turns into a signature event here at Cal Lutheran," Bryde said.

Bryde said former player and current soccer coach Amy Walz helped start the Special Olympics soccer program in Ventura County.

CLU officials said the tournament may be the largest event to take place on campus that involves student volunteers. More than 150 CLU students will assist throughout the day, setting up tents, officiating games, monitoring crowd control and handing out awards.

The tournament will take place on the university's north campus. Five players per team will be on the field at a given time.

To contribute prizes or goodies for the athletes, call Bryde at 493-3402.

For more information about the Ventura County Special Olympics, call Martin at 654-7787.

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