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Jenny Jarvis

After many years as a Special Olympics New Zealand coach, Jenny Jarvis wanted a new challenge. So she applied to be part of the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2015 management team and was appointed to the position of additional support – this means Jenny will have to step into almost any role, as required.

This challlenge does not daunt Jenny, however, as she has been coaching Special Olympics aquatics for about 12 years. She has also attended three National Summer Games as either coach or head coach for the Horowhenua team.

“This will be my first experience at the Games and I am excited to be given the opportunity to be part of the team. I love seeing people meet and exceed their expectations. To have the chance to assist our athletes to be the best they can, and to achieve to the highest level possible, will be a priviledge.

“I have been actively involved in a range of sport. I taught 'learn to swim' at our local pool for many years, and managed, coached and served on the Committee (including a period as President) with the Levin Swimming club.”

Jenny has been actively involved in sport all her life, particularly tennis, netball, lifesaving and swimming. She has had roles including coaching, selecting, and service on committees and boards.

Currently managing the employment programme arm of a private training establishment, in both Levin and Kapiti in the disability sector, Jenny supports people with disabilities to find paid employment as she enjoys seeing “their success in both employment and sport”.

As both Head Coach and Secretary of Special Olympics Horowhenua, Jenny regularly volunteers 20 hours a week on top of her 40-hour working week so her life can be very busy! However, she says the rewards far outweigh any challenges.

“I enjoy seeing someone swim 15 metres unaided for the first time, as much as seeing someone swim 1500 metres for the first time. Seeing their pleasure in their achievement is all the reward I need.

“New Zealand is a sporting nation and we all admire those selected to represent our country at the Olympic Games and at the top level in other non-Olympic sports. Special Olympic athletes deserve the same level of admiration. They train hard, do their very best and represent their country with pride. They often overcome significant barriers to be able to participate in their chosen sport and deserve the respect and support of all Kiwis.”
What I love about New Zealand Special Olympics:

Is how our athletes all give it a go to the very best of their ability and get such enormous pleasure from their achievements. We should all take a leaf out of that book!


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