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Grant Haskell

IMG_8805.JPGFor ski coach Grant Haskell, Special Olympics is a real family affair! He was first introduced to Special Olympics in 2000, when his daughter Tess started competing, and has never looked back. Both Grant and his wife Jane are now heavily involved with Special Olympics North Harbour, and are both part of the New Zealand delegation heading to Austria 2017.

“I started out volunteering with Special Olympics Central Otago when we lived in Wanaka, and then started helping out with the North Harbour Club in 2002 when we moved to Auckland,” Grant says.

“But the real turning point for me was in 2009 when Tess was selected for the World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho, and I went along as a parent observer. I was so inspired by that experience and that made me want to return to a World Games as a coach.”

Both Grant and Jane are now firm supporters of the Upper North Island snow sports programme, and coach and instruct athletes regularly at Snow Planet in Auckland. Grant has also been instructing at the annual snow camp in Cardrona for the past six or seven years, and is a regular volunteer at Special Olympics North Harbour’s swimming and basketball training sessions and events.

He has also been Treasurer of the Club for a number of years.

“I really enjoy the interaction with the athletes and I love seeing them progress. It’s really inspiring to see the athletes achieve what they do.”

Grant trained as an accountant and then became a builder. But for the past 12 years he has been running a miniature golf course which he built in 2004, and recently sold. These days he’s keeping himself busy with some other business commitments, family and Special Olympics.

“I’m really looking forward to heading to Austria – I know it will be a great experience.”

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