Nine athletes from around New Zealand were selected to participate in the 2012 Athlete Leadership Programme.
As part of this Programme, the chosen athletes underwent training to become Global Messengers, helping to spread the message and vision of Special Olympics, as well as the benefits they have gained from being part of the organisation.
The Global Messengers course is a cornerstone of Special Olympics New Zealand's Athlete Leadership Programme and provides specialist training to equip successful athletes with the skills and confidence to step into the wider community to share their stories. This is the third year the Global Messenger programme has run, with the Class of 2010 and 2011 now talking to community groups and sponsors on a regular basis.
"The Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Programme is all about empowering athletes to experience opportunities they may not traditionally receive because of their intellectual disability," says Kathy Gibson, Special Olympics New Zealand Chief Executive Officer.
"These experiences might come in the form of an athlete serving on a local organising committee or Board of Directors, or becoming a spokesperson, team captain, coach or official," says Mrs Gibson.
Special Olympics New Zealand partners with the AUT SHINE Sport Programme to deliver the successful series of workshops, which covers goal setting, public speaking, media and communications, and development planning.