Special Olympics Counties athlete Rachell Prestidge’s selection into the Athlete Leadership Programme came as a bit of a shock, and was a case of ‘baptism by fire’.
“I was nominated on the Monday, had the Tuesday to prepare and write a speech, and was interviewed on the Wednesday,” she says.
A gregarious and empathetic person Rachell is looking forward to becoming a Global Messenger for Special Olympics New Zealand.
“I have a great time with Special Olympics. Just meeting new people and coaches and cheering teams on is great. I get to travel quite a bit to ribbon days and meet a lot of other athletes,’ she says.
“I had a stroke nine years ago and spent two months in hospital learning to speak again. I joined Special Olympics four years ago and train with the Counties swim team every Sunday. Being part of the team has given me a real boost and I’m keen to get more confident in public speaking so I can share with others how life changing Special Olympics can be.”
Rachell achieved a milestone recently by moving out of home into a flat (“with another Rachel”). Outside of Special Olympics Rachell volunteers three days a week at a childcare centre working with “three and four year olds who are full of attitude”, and two days a week at the Pukekohe library. She also attends the Pukekohe Christian Family Centre and is involved with the Connect Group for young adults. In her spare time Rachell enjoys making birthday cards and bead necklaces.
+64 6 357 5349 ext 735
+64 27 299 4734