Special Olympics Pakuranga–Howick athlete Monique has been training with Special Olympics since the age of six, and it has become an integral part of her life.
Now aged 24, Monique trains under the watchful eye of Coach (and TVNZ reporter) Helen Castles on a weekly basis and is stepping up her training programme for the LA2015 Games.
Over the past 18 years Monique has taken part in four National Summer Games. The LA2015 Games will be Monique’s first offshore international competition, and realises a dream that she has had for years.
Back in 2006 she competed in athletics at the Asia Pacific Invitation Games in Christchurch where she came away with a gold medal in the standing long jump, and silver medals in the 400m sprint and sprint relay. She remembers the event as an “amazing opportunity to meet friends and athletes from across the globe.”
“Attending a World Summer Games has been an interest and goal of mine, and a discussion point since the Ireland Games [in 2003],” she says.
“I love being part of Special Olympics, the competition and travel, the social aspect, mingling, making new contacts and friends, and the ongoing friendships.”