Where else can you start off as a local volunteer and end up taking an athlete to the FIFA World Cup or leading a delegation of athletes to a World Games?
Athens, Shanghai, Brunei, Cape Town, Ireland. Incredible destinations and some of the amazing places Special Olympics New Zealand volunteers have travelled.
Everyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to contact their local Club and attend a regional Orientation Evening. These information evenings assist potential volunteers understand Special Olympics New Zealand and get an idea of how they can make a difference.
After deciding how you would like to be involved, Special Olympics New Zealand will match you with a local mentor. Mentors are there to help find skills you need and identify any opportunities to up-skill yourself. These opportunities may be in coaching, officiating or understanding intellectual disability, for example.
After you start volunteering, opportunities will come along. Initially this could involve taking a local team to a regional event, then perhaps the National Games. After gaining experience and confidence, you may apply to take a team to an international event.
Opportunities are not limited to coaches and officials. Committee members can become part of the national and international delegations, too. Team managers and Head of Delegations are needed for large international events. Coaches and management team members are selected by panel.
One day you are a casual coach of tenpin bowling at the local alley – and before you know it, you could be leading a team to a world sporting event. That’s the unique thing about Special Olympics New Zealand.
Two technical delegates and four officials represented Special Olympics New Zealand at the 2011 World Summer Games. They were part of an incredible event and got to see the world, at no cost! Seven officials will travel to PyeongChang, South Korea in 2013 to assist with the 2013 World Winter Games, what an opportunity!
And they all started as local volunteers.