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Who we are > News > Largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities launches

Largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities launches


The capital is set to play host to New Zealand’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities later this year, when the Special Olympics National Summer Games is held in venues across the city.

The Games, which are being held from 27 November to 1 December 2017, will see more than 2200 athletes, coaches and team management from throughout the country gather to compete in swimming, athletics, basketball, bocce, equestrian, football, golf, indoor bowls, powerlifting, and tenpin bowling. More than 1000 athletes will be recruited to support the event.

Special Olympics New Zealand Chief Executive Kathy Gibson, said the organisation is looking forward to hosting its premier event in the capital.

“Wellington has significant meaning to Special Olympics New Zealand, because it was the area where our founders Grant and Wendy Quinn first started the New Zealand movement more than 30 years ago,” Kathy said.

“We’re very pleased to be hosting the National Summer Games in Wellington for the first time.”

Ms Gibson said that as well as the sporting competition side of the event, Special Olympics New Zealand will also run a Healthy Athletes Programme during the Games delivered by more 70 volunteer clinicians. Athletes will be offered the opportunity to take part in screenings focused on hearing, eye sight, dental care, podiatry and health promotion.

“We know that people with intellectual disabilities typically have poorer health outcomes, and may have underlying health issues that go undiagnosed. The Healthy Athletes screenings can help to identify these issues, and allow our athletes to get the right treatment.

The 2017 National Summer Games will be officially launched tomorrow at Parliament with the unveiling of the Games logo and guest speakers that will provide an overview of the Games and what Wellington as a city can expect from the largest sporting event for people with intellectual disabilities.

The Special Olympics National Summer Games will be held in Wellington from 27 November to 1 December 2017. Events will he hosted at a number of venues throughout the city, including ASB Sports Centre, Newtown Stadium, Kilbirnie Pool Wakefield Park, Petone Strike Bowl, Hutt Indoor Sports Arena, Empire Table Tennis Centre, MAD Gym Petone, Walter Nash Stadium, Te Rauparaha Arena and Boulcotts Farm Heritage Golf Course.

For more information and camp details:         Angela Day                   

                                                                        Manager – Marketing & Communications

Special Olympics New Zealand

Tel: +64 27 297 7006

                                                                        Email: angelad@specialolympics.org.nz


Launch information:                                        Tuesday 21 February 2017 - 5pm

                                                                        The Grand Hall, Parliament House, Parliament Buildings


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