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Max Brooking

Taking athletes through a personal journey to make them the best that they can be is what inspires and motivates Head of Delegation for the Special Olympics World Summer Games, Max Brooking.

“I have been involved in many sports as a competitor and have coached athletics and basketball with Special Olympics for 28 years.

“I always aim to get athletes involved, mixing and trying. Then, when they are keen, extending them and making them confident and wanting more, then improving them to the point that they are the best they can be.”

This will be Max’s fifth overseas trip with Special Olympics, including attending the World Summer Games 1991 and 2011 as Head Coach of athletics.

“It is hard work at times, but like many other colleagues I have been away with we keep going back for more. Firstly, it is an honour to represent New Zealand at such a major global event.

“And our athletes are so enthusiastic and focused that it gives us all great pleasure watching them competing on the world stage, often achieving personal bests and medals.”

Max has many great memories of his time with Special Olympics, but says a highlight was in Athens 2011.

“Our relay team won Gold in the 4 x 100m relay. They ran the perfect race and improved on their heat time by two seconds. I had calculated their heat time was their best possible performance so their finals performance was a super effort –and a product of all the great things Special Olympics can do for those with a disability.”

As an investigator for the Ministry of Social Development, Max says it can be a challenge working it all in “but having a job with the weekends free does help”.
What I love about Special Olympics New Zealand:

Special Olympics stands apart from most other global sports – coaches and managers are all volunteers, the athletes are amateur, there are no barriers between the competing nations at the Games even when they might be fighting each other on a battlefield somewhere. Somehow Special Olympics is far more important than all that. I love that New Zealand, sends a well-prepared team to the Games and we stand proud among all the nations there.


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