PAIR OF BRUIN ATHLETES TO COMPETE IN DOWN UNDER GAMES

March 11, 2008 11:00 pm
Dani Olson (left) and Gabe Anaya (right) are preparing to compete in Australia this summer (The Pilot/Josh Bronson).
Dani Olson (left) and Gabe Anaya (right) are preparing to compete in Australia this summer (The Pilot/Josh Bronson).

By Josh Bronson

Pilot staff writer

Two Brookings-Harbor High School juniors, Gabe Anaya and Dani Olson, have been given the opportunity to compete against athletes from all over the world in the ISSI Down Under Games in Australia this summer.

"This is a once in a lifetime experience,"Anaya said. "We're going to get the chance to meet new people while improving our abilitites and skills."

Anaya will travel to Australia to play soccer from July 14-25 while Olson will be playing volleyball from July 7-17.

"We'll start out with a beach volleyball tournament just for fun," Olson said, "And then we'll compete in a two-day indoor tournament and try to practice inbetween."

The two Bruin athletes will be representing the state of Oregon and will play on teams consisting of prep athletes from around the state.

Olson was nominated for the team by Bruin volleyball coach Lori Cooper, who is also the Oregon coach for the Down Under Games.

Anaya was a little more surprised by his nomination as he recieved a letter offering him a chance to play in Australia, although he still does not know who nominated him.

But the opportunity to play on the other side of the world will not come cheap.

The 10-day trip will cost each athlete around $4,000, which will cover all of their expenses while competing.

To help with their trip, Anaya and Olson are requesting that anybody wishing to donate money to fund their trip send checks to PO Box 4162, Brookings, OR, 97415.

Make checks payable to ISSI Down Under Sports and please specify who the check is meant for – Anaya or Olson. Unspecified checks will be split between the two athletes.

For every $2 donated, the Bruin athletes will send the donor a raffle ticket for an all-expenses paid trip for two to Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, funded by Down Under Sports.

Anaya and Olson have only six weeks left to raise the money and have to make their final payments by May 1.