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Johnny Gilbert

_63A1413.jpgIt was Head of Delegation Brian Benn who first got Johnny Gilbert involved in Special Olympics about seven years ago. Fellow Police officer Brian was Johnny’s Senior Sergeant and thought his interest in mountain sports would make him the ideal volunteer for Special Olympics’ snow sports programme.

Since then Johnny has been a regular volunteer/coach at ski weekends and camps, and also volunteered at last year’s National Winter Games.

“The National Games was a fantastic experience,” Johnny says. “I got to spend a really good amount of time with the athletes and just had a really great time.”

It was Johnny’s experience at the National Games that made him put his hand up for the 2017 World Winter Games in Austria.

“After nationals I really just wanted more involvement. I’ve been to Austria snowboarding on my own before so I know how great it will be.

“For the athletes I think just being selected is a fantastic accomplishment. It doesn’t matter where they place – it’s all about the experience. In Austria they will also have a different language and culture to deal with which will be a unique challenge for them as well.”

In addition to his mountain sports Johnny is also an extreme sports enthusiast and enjoys skydiving and mountaineering as well as other outdoor sports including tramping.

He’s been with the NZ Police for 13 years and is a member of the Police Search and Rescue Team.

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