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Brian Benn

_63A1417.jpgIt was more than 20 years ago now that now Special Olympics New Zealand Board member Stew Hewett invited his friend Brian Benn away on a Special Olympics ski weekend. Since then, Brian has never looked back and has held various volunteer roles with Special Olympics New Zealand, and with the Otago Club.

“It’s hugely rewarding, watching the way that all of the athletes support each other to perform at their best,” Brian says. “The ethics and ethos behind Special Olympics is just amazing.”

Brian is currently a ski coach for Special Olympics New Zealand and patron of Special Olympics Otago, and assisted with running the bocce competition at the 2013 National Summer Games in Dunedin. He also led the delegation to the World Winter Games in Korea in 2013, and was a member of the coaching team at the 2005 Games in Japan. Outside of Special Olympics Brian has worked for NZ Police in Dunedin for nearly 40 years, and is also a commercial rafting guide.

Brian says his goal for the 2017 Games, which will be held from 14-25 March next year, is to get everyone there and back safely with smiles on their faces, and to have everyone complete their event.

“In 2015 we had only one disqualification, but I’m keen to improve on that in 2017. I also want to see our delegation continue the positive reputation that New Zealand now has at the international events and to see everyone make some new and life-long friends.”

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