TASMANIAN bocce ace Donna West has been chosen to compete in the largest sporting event held for people with an intellectual disability in the Southern Hemisphere.
The 46-year-old Legana woman is part of the 400-strong Australian team that will compete at the inaugural Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in December.
The games will take place in Newcastle from December 1-7, and will involve 2000 athletes, 600 coaches and officials, 4000 volunteers and an estimated 200,000 spectators from 32 countries in the Asia Pacific region.
West is the only Tasmanian in the national squad, and is hoping to replicate the form that saw her win gold for the state at the National Special Olympics in Adelaide in 2010.
"When I found out I got selected, I was pleased as punch," she said.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge, and meeting other people.
"That's the best thing."
West's time with New Horizons and Special Olympics Tasmania has introduced her to softball, basketball, ten-pin bowling and athletics.
But she said the mental challenge of bocce made it her favourite sport.
"It's a very tactical game," West said.
"You've got to concentrate, think ahead and keep your eye on the ball."
West is a part-time mentor with support organisation Life Without Barriers.
In 2010, she paired up with Karen Terry to win Special Olympics gold for Tasmania in the women's doubles.
Three Tasmanian assistants will also travel with the Australian Asia Pacific Games team to Newcastle.
Carol Miller will help with the bocce team and Greg Bowen and Jiah Clair are ten- pin bowling team assistants.