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Helen Johnson

Helen is iconic within Special Olympics Manawatu. She has been involved in Special Olympics for more than 25 years as a coach, parent, coordinator, publicity officer, fundraiser, mentor, friend to many, advocate, and a passionate hardworking volunteer.    

Helen is one of life’s “doers” and she sets the bar very high for delivering outstanding events in a wide range of sports including aquatics, athletics, snow sports, ten pin bowling, golf, basketball, bocce and powerlifting. She will always put her hand up and no task is too small. 
Helen has been secretary for the Lower North Island Regional Council for many years and was part of the management teams that travelled to the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece, and the 2013 Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle, Australia (in which she took on the challenging role of Head Coach for Special Olympics New Zealand’s inaugural Table Tennis team). Helen leads from the front and she has an uncanny way to take others along with her.
Helen’s commitment to advocate on behalf of athletes with an intellectual disability has seen her take key roles for key disability organisations including Parent to Parent. She does this in tandem with the amazing passion and dedication she shows towards the growth and development of Special Olympics. 
Helen’s impressive contribution to Special Olympics Manawatu came to the fore in 2013 when she took a six-month sabbatical from the committee. It took several volunteers within the Club to replicate the duties that Helen undertook on a daily basis on behalf of the Club.
Helen has been a recipient of the Manawatu Volunteer of the Year and recently achieved a Civic Award from the Palmerston North City Council for her services to the disability sector. She is definitely a very worthy recipient for Life Membership. 
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