Special Olympics Counties athlete Jacob Osborne has only been training with Special Olympics for eight years but has made a lasting impression on the organisation.
His main sports are tenpin bowling and athletics and he regularly competes at ribbon days around Pukekohe and beyond.
He attends three weekly training sessions at the gym to maintain his fitness and also trains with the Club Athletics team a few days a week.
Until recently he also trained in kick-boxing but after injuring his ankle he has decided to give it up until after the LA2015 Games.
Over the past few years Jacob has undergone a transformation in confidence … and appearance. In 2013 he became one of Special Olympics New Zealand’s Global Messengers. At the time he said he hoped the role would help him overcome his shyness. Talking to him now it’s fair to say he has certainly achieved this goal as he is a very eloquent and approachable athlete.
“I’ve learnt so much with the Global Messenger programme and know all the workshop skills will come in handy. When I was named a Global Messenger I had no hair. I’ve now got dreadlocks, which is a bit of a change. I’m going to have to tie them back for athletics so they don’t slow me down,” he jokes.