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July 2021 Fanletter

Message from the CEO

Carolyn congratulates everyone who has qualified for the National Summer Games, shares resources from the club consultations and welcomes new staff member Josie to the team.

Athletes take the lead on Outward Bound

Athletes took on the Outward Bound course aiming to develop their leadership skills and tackle 8 days of tramping, sailing, rafting, high ropes, camping and more!

Club highlights: 1,400+ athletes qualify for National Summer Games

We take a look back at some of the amazing events that took place in the qualifying period for the National Summer Games.

10 years later: 2011 Athens World Games

Athlete Ryan Smith remembers the day where the SONZ 100m relay team took home gold as one of the most incredible sporting moments of his life.

Health Leader Scot Jackson teaches indoor exercises

With winter getting closer, athlete and Health Leader Scot wants to teach you his favourite indoor exercises for when it’s too cold to train outside.

Balance is better coaches corner

With the Tier 2 qualifying period finished, Gary discusses how coaches can start preparing for the National Summer Games, technical directors are announced and more.


Message from the CEO

Tēnā Koutou e hoa mā 

It’s 158 days until the Opening Ceremony at the National Summer Games, and we can’t wait to see everyone in Hamilton.  The end of June marked the end of qualifying for the Games and we know that all of our athletes, coaches and volunteers have been working tirelessly to get as many athletes qualified as possible.  We know that 1,444 athletes have qualified, many in more than one event.  Well done to everyone. 

Registrations for National Summer Games are due in by Friday 16 July, if you have any questions please email registrations@specialolympics.org.nz and one of our team will get back to you. 

Recently the Wellington Region experienced a change in Alert Levels, back to Level 2, for just under a week. It was a reminder to all of us to continue to be vigilant about the risks of Covid, make sure that you use the Covid Tracer App to sign-in, or sign in manually, when you are out and about.  If you are feeling unwell, please stay home, monitor your health, and see your doctor if symptoms persist. The Board are continuing to monitor all potential risks to the hosting of the National Summer Games and if any changes are made we will notify the clubs accordingly. 

The Board have recently completed the in-person club consultation around the proposed changes to the Special Olympics New Zealand Constitution and recommendations around how to future proof our club structure and the relationship with each other. The feedback period was extended to 30 June 2021 and the Board will be considering the feedback and recommendations at its Board meeting on 9 July 2021. All of the draft documents and resources are available on our website at this link: Club Consultations – Special Olympics New Zealand 

We were sad to say goodbye to staff member David Hibberd who finished his tenure at Special Olympics New Zealand earlier this year. We wish David all the best for his next adventure. Josie Fitzsimons stepped into the role of RSC Coordinator in June and we’re pleased to welcome her to the Special Olympics whanāu. 

Josie comes to us from Victoria University where she has worked for the last six years, most recently in the position as Sports Manager, where she has been part of the management team and has been responsible for the planning, delivery and evaluation of the sporting opportunities for students at the University, building strong stakeholder relationships and developing and implementing the departments strategic and operational plans.  Josie is a trained teacher and has spent some time earlier in her career working closely with students with an intellectual disability. 

Keep up your training and I look forward to seeing everyone in December. 

Ka kite anō au i a koutou 

Carolyn Young 
Chief Executive

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July 2021 Fanletter