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Caroline Leong

Caroline Leong has been a central figure in the lives of many Special Olympics athletes over the past 24 years. As Chairperson of Special Olympics Manukau she coordinates 11 sports, in conjunction with each sports manager, and is responsible for 104 athletes and 24 volunteers currently enrolled with the Club.

Caroline has had a long-term interest in the disability sector having worked as a special education teacher and in management roles for respite care organisations. She became involved with Special Olympics in 1989 and was instrumental in establishing the Manukau Club and resurrecting many of the sports no longer available to athletes with intellectual disabilities in the South Auckland area.
When Caroline first became involved with the Club she was one of the few volunteers who did not have a family member with intellectual disabilities. Over her time on the committee she has seen this change to the point that it is now largely made up of people who work in the sector and want to support people with intellectual disabilities, rather than those with a family connection.
With Caroline’s guidance, Special Olympics Manukau has become very professional in its approach. She has oversight of the Club’s event administration, communications and media liaison, volunteer and athlete registration, and fundraising, and represents the Club on the Special Olympics Upper North Island Regional Council.
Caroline is a valued member of Special Olympics New Zealand who has changed the lives of many people in the South Auckland region.
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