Feilding-based Shona Hendra has been involved with Special Olympics New Zealand for years, first as a parent watching her daughter swim, then as a member of the local committee.
She is now Treasurer for both Special Olympics Manawatu and the Special Olympics Lower North Island Regional Council. Shona was Head Aquatics Coach at the last National Summer Games and says the Assistant Head of Delegation role is "the next level" of involvement with Special Olympics.
"Within the role I'll be helping with coordinating the team, checking everyone in at the airport (which can be quite an undertaking), looking after passports and the accommodation, liaising with the coaches, and really acting as a support to everyone, especially our Head of Delegation. I'm prepared to step into any role as needed.
"A great part of the position is learning about the different sports. Swimming is my main sport and the others that we're competing in at the Games are quite foreign to me. A few weeks ago I volunteered at an athletics event in Palmerston North and met a whole bunch of athletes who I have never had any involvement with. While athletics is new to me, as we are all part of the Special Olympics New Zealand family, it was familiar too. I'm very much looking forward to this new and exciting challenge."