Wanganui athletes find confidence at Downers Masters Games
10 May 2021
Almost $10,000 was raised for Special Olympics Wanganui at the Downers Masters Games, but Jan Bublitz is most proud of the athletes going out and talking to the community, raising their confidence and telling the public about the great things they’re doing.
On 23 March Wanganui Special Olympics headed to the Downers Masters Games as the charity partner for the event, enabling the club to participate in 10 days of fundraising.
The total raised was almost $10,000 and Wanganui Special Olympics personally raised $2,750 just by talking to athletes and spectators at the games.
Jan says that it was a tremendous opportunity to communicate with the community and gave the athletes the chance to get some positive public exposure and raise their confidence –
“The major benefit was the increase in personal confidence. It was delightful watching the Masters Games athletes warm to our athletes and have conversations about their sport and personal achievements.”
None of the athletes had ever done anything like this before and while many were initially nervous, by the end of the 10 days all were comfortable going up to people and starting a conversation. Athlete Mikayla in particular took to the challenge with gusto –
“Mikayla hadn’t done any sort of public speaking, or gone up and talked to strangers before. But in an hour and a half, she went up to everyone who walked by and talked to them about who she was and her life with Special Olympics.”
“She personally raised over $200 dollars in an hour’s time just by talking to athletes and spectators at the Masters Games, once she started talking everyone just warmed to her.”
Jan reflected that it was the best form of public exposure for them ever in Wanganui and is thankful to Downers Masters Games for this tremendous opportunity to communicate with the community.
“None of the athletes had ever done anything like this before, and they did an incredible job. I was proud to walk alongside them.”