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From the CEO's desk

The National Winter Games have been my personal highlight since the last Fanletter update. The games were a great success for athletes, coaches and staff. We had perfect racing conditions and it was a delight to see the smiles on all the athletes and coaches faces at the end of the day.  

Achievements ranged from Amos Van Asch hitting every gate for the first time on his final run down the mountain, Jaimee Caffell the only female athlete in snowboarding to be closely beaten in each discipline by Kaa Dekker  several athletes moved from intermediate to advanced and we had a number of athletes who competed for the first time. The disco was a fitting finale to the event with Stacey G and Ast T the DJs with the coolest sounds. It was great to see all the athletes and volunteers up on the dance floor enjoying the atmosphere and dancing to the great play list  that was provided by a number of athletes, particularly Timothy Clayton who supplied a huge list of songs!

As the clocks have moved forward we are now in spring and preparing for the last series of events and moving into summer mode. Planning is well underway for our Tier 2 events in 2020 and we are looking forward to finalising the calendar for next year in November. Any questions you have about the calendar please work with your Regional Sports Co-ordinator or our Sports Director Gary Peacham.

The forms for the 2019 census have recently been sent out by the Regional Sports Co-ordinators including the time frames, frequently asked questions, and instructions on how to complete.  Any questions please refer to your Regional Sports Co-ordinator in the first instance.

Carolyn Young

Winter Games a winner

Congratulations to all of our amazing athletes who competed at the National Summer Games at Cardrona last month!

Although the weather wasn’t the best for the Opening Ceremony, the Games kicked off with a bang. One of the highlights was the flame being carried down the mountain by Wellington athlete Michael Holdsworth, who has attended every National Winter Games since the event began in 1995.
After that the weather turned to sunshine and the Games were in full swing, with everyone giving it their all.

Special Olympics New Zealand Events Director Asti Farrell said one of the highlights was seeing a number of the athletes moving from the Intermediate competition to Advanced.

“This change is based on their technique so it’s a real credit to their training and coaches,” Asti said. “It was also great to see some young athletes coming through, including a few 14 and 16 year olds. The whole experience was fantastic for these athletes, from the Opening Ceremony through to the disco.”

This year we also introduced the inaugural coaches race that was run at the end of the competition and was a lot of fun!

“My favourite moment though was definitely the disco,” Asti said. “It was so great to see the confidence of the athletes and the great time they had on the dance floor!
Full results of the National Winter Games are available on our website
A huge thank you to all of our volunteers, and to Cardrona Alpine Resort, Pelorus Trust, Southern Trust, Skinny Fizz and Blackland PR, for all of their effort and support.  

Tim's National Winter Games

Name: Timothy Clayton 
Club: Special Olympics Hawke’s Bay
How many National Winter Games have you been to?
This was my first National Winter Games.
What events did you compete in?
Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom.
What were your results?
I got gold in the Super G, bronze in the Giant Slalom and Silver in the Slalom.
What was your favourite thing about the Games?
The best thing about Nationals was standing on the top step of the podium. I had realised a dream. Also, I enjoyed meeting a few new friends including some of my opponents I competed against. 


New Regional Sports Coordinators for Auckland

We’ve recently appointed two new Regional Sports Coordinators in the Auckland regions, to support Clubs across the Auckland region.

Carlin Crossan
Carlin joined us in late August, coming to us from a Sports Coordinator role at Papatoetoe High School. There he was heavily involved with his two main sporting passions - cricket and rugby - coaching teams across a variety of levels. He’s also taught PE lessons in schools in London and worked as a sports co-ordinator for Papakura High School.

Having had some small involvement with special needs students in the past, I have always enjoyed seeing students having great joy in any sporting opportunities that are provided for them.  Special Olympics New Zealand provides many great opportunities for their athletes to participate in,” Carlin says.  

“I find this an extremely rewarding role. It offers great variety in a range of sports across Clubs and schools and will allow me  to expand professionally and get out of my comfort zone.”
In his first year at Special Olympics Carlin is looking forward to seeing the athletes take part in events and getting to know them, as well as building strong working relationships with the volunteers who provide athletes with the opportunity to take part in sport.

Scott Vaughan
Scott joined us earlier in the year coming from Rangitoto College where he was in the role of Performance Sports Administrator. Prior to that he’d held a number of roles in the sports sector, and tried his hand as a stone mason, after graduating with a certificate in Education and a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation.

“I enjoyed my time at Rangitoto College; it did feel a little surreal walking back into my old high school and working alongside teachers that had taught me as a youngster,” Scott says. “However after some time in the role I wanted to move onto something new within sport and thought the RSC would be an exciting challenge to work within an environment that I wasn’t familiar with - working alongside athletes with intellectual disabilities.”

Scott says he is looking forward to building on relationships within his communities, having more rapport with the athletes and their families and learning more about intellectual disabilities.
“Most of all I think I am looking forward to being involved with events and helping facilitate individuals to fall in love with sport and seeing the positive effect it can have on people’s lives.”

Large medal haul in Australia for Selwyn swimmer

Special Olympics swimmer Charlotte Rozen recently returned from the Australian Down Syndrome swimming championships with a huge haul of medals.

Charlotte, 23, follows a demanding training schedule with Special Olympics Canterbury at Rolleston, as well as a squad swimmer with the Selwyn swim club.

That hard work paid off in Brisbane where Charlotte won gold in the 25m breaststroke, as well as three silvers in the 25m freestyle, 25m backstroke and 100m individual medley.

The Australian championships are held every two years at various locations around Australia and despite the time of the year, Brisbane hosted the races in the 50m outdoor Centenary Pool.
Charlotte competed in eight events and was proud to win medals in four events.

Interestingly, Charlotte was not allowed to take the title of Australian champion in her winning breaststroke race, as she is New Zealand citizen, so the second-placed Australian swimmer shared the top spot, and also received a gold medal.

Unified fun in Manawatu

As you might have read in the last edition of Fanletter, throughout term 3 Regional Sports Coordinator Jayden Richards ran a Unified Sports pilot at Feilding High School in Manawatu.

Two basketball teams were formed, each with seven students from the learning unit and three from mainstream classes. They were part of a four week training programme at lunchtime, and then an an in-house school basketball event was run.

“It was great to see the mainstream students connecting with the learning centre students - they came a long way from the first week,” Jayden said. “The teachers, learning unit students and the Unified Partners all got a lot out of it and new friendships were fostered.”

Jayden is now working on plans to roll out the programme to other schools and build up to having a Unified category in the Manawatu Secondary Schools basketball tournament.

Youth for Inclusion Summit

Youth leaders Grace Payne and Jack Green, along with coach Rowena Massey from Special Olympic Counties, are jetting off to Singapore in early December to take part in Special Olympics Asia-Pacific’s Regional Youth Leadership Summit, titled ‘Youth for Inclusion.

The Summit will bring together Youth Leaders with and without intellectual disabilities from across the region to discuss and formulate ideas to address issues related to inclusion This year’s theme -  ‘Creating Smart Societies’ will guide participants to discuss and come up with tech-driven ideas to tackle commonly faced issues, including:
  • addressing bullying and isolation
  • strengthening mental health and wellness, and
  • increasing post-school opportunities.
 The NZ contingent has chosen to focus on addressing bullying and isolation, as well as touching upon post-school opportunities, and are planning to develop a ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ type idea to transport athletes to and from training sessions.

Watch out for a post event story in the December Fanletter.

l-r: Rowena, Grace and Jack 

Howick-Pakuranga Have a Go 

Special Olympics Howick-Pakuranga held a Have a Go Day 24 August 2019.  The athlete committee and mentor Adele Adams planned and organised the session which was attended by many interested new athletes.  Howick-Pakuranga sport volunteers set up sports equipment for people to try out athletics, basketball, tenpin bowling, table tennis, indoor bowls, football and powerlifting.

Global Messengers Monique Irvine and William Burr with athletes from all sports were on hand to demonstrate and encourage those that came along.
Malachi demonstrates powerlifting

Skinny Fizz offer!

Skinny Fizz is offering Fanletter readers 20% off for the month of October (till midnight 31st Oct), by using the code 'OLYMPIC20'.
Skinny Fizz is sparkling water and just a splash of New Zealand fruit. Imagined and made in NZ. No sweetness, just refreshingly real.
All its packaging is 100% recyclable and they've reduced materials where they can. Cans are lighter to transport and all of its operations use shared space or existing infrastructure.

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