Twelve athletes from throughout New Zealand were chosen to participate in the 2011 Athlete Leadership Programme.
“The selection panel was very impressed with the calibre of the short-listed applicants for 2011,” says Kathy Gibson. “The preparation, delivery and attitude shown by the athletes during the interview process was outstanding. Our thanks also go to the supporting Clubs for their input and guidance required to prepare the athletes for the interviews. We looked for a mix in skills in the athletes we selected and collectively we have an outstanding group of Global Messengers.”
Special Olympics New Zealand partnered with the AUT SHINE Sport Programme to help deliver the programme. Ten athletes participated in the programme during 2010 and completed workshops and training. The Class of 2011 followed in their footsteps learning skills to act as advocates and spokespeople in their community and around New Zealand.
They are now on the 'speaking circuit', talking to community groups and sponsors on a frequent basis.
They have regular contact with the inaugural class of 2010 and in August 2011 a combined session was held where both groups shared their experiences as Global Messengers and reaffirmed their 'buddy' system. The Global Messengers also have a Facebook page wehre they liaise with each other and provide mentoring and support.