Athlete Leadership

Special Olympics New Zealand is unleashing leadership potential in athletes, providing opportunities to use their skills and abilities to respond to issues of importance to the community.

Athlete Leaders speak in their community and around New Zealand at seminars and conferences. They address functions and community groups about intellectual disability, Special Olympics and their experiences.

By taking part in the athlete Leaders influence the community and policymakers on issues of concern to the intellectual disability community and have the confidence and skills to respond positively and proactively around issues important to the intellectual disability community.

​Athletes who have gone through Athlete Leadership training are qualified to apply to be an Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger. Every four years, 10 athletes from around the world are selected to train and serve as International Global Messengers.

Athlete Leaders Class of 2020

From left: Morgan Smith, Shanae Dean, David Sullivan, Chrissa Pearce.

Graduates 2010-2019

Class of 2019

From left: Ben Oaten, Tegan Crotty, Sarah Dalton, Sean Tremlett.

Class of 2018

From top left: Carolyn Young (Special Olympics New Zealand CEO), Wade Ledingham, Oscar Stace, Liz King (Special Olympics New Zealand), Hilary Bryan (The Training Practice), Shonagh Clarke, Ryan Stewart, Monique Irvine, Alice Robb.

Class of 2017

From top left: Rachel Harvie, Stephen Waite, Gary Albright, James Wilson, Toby Adams, Catherine Boyle, Grace Payne, Portia Johnson, Laura Davis.

Class of 2016

From top left: James Farrell, Michael Banner, Lisa Donald, Daniel Casbolt, Alex Johnsen, Mohit Chand, Rochelle Waters, James Bott.

Class of 2015

From top left: Emma Holderness (The Training Practice), August Landrebe, Sam Donaldson, Martin Joyce, Lois Aitkenhead (Special Olympics Nelson), Julia Sanson (Special Olympics New Zealand), Rachell Prestidge, Conrad Ryan, Vicki Pere, Hamish Hurst, Stacey Parker.

Class of 2014

From back left: Troy Rangi, Kyle Harpur, Philip Lomas, Scot Jackson, Ryan Smith, Lois Aitkenhead (Special Olympics Nelson), Julia Sanson (Special Olympics New Zealand), Kathy Gibson (Special Olympics New Zealand), Anthony Doak, Matthew Smith, Nicky Wagner (MP).

Class of 2013

From back left: Andrew Oswin, Eru Whakatihi, Hayley Long, Jacob Osborne, Jason Ewens, Josie Noble, Naomi Jackson, Paul Hunter and Stephanie Davis.

Class of 2012

From front left: Chelsea Thorn, Craig Torrance, Joshua Fergusson, Melissa Donoghue, Nigel Simmons, Raymond Smith, Teresa Nicol, Thomas Loftus and William Burr.

Class of 2011

From back left: Athol Tipene, Charlie Smith, Chris Rielly, Chris Tilley, Ella Sharples, Frank Green, Grant McKenzie, Jason Donovan, Judith Porter, Kym O’Grady, Michael Conder and Thomas van der Lugt

Class of 2010

From front left: Andrew Boyce, Chris Linnell, Chrystal Frethey, Dale Smit, Fiona Strong, Graeme Porter, Hamish Taverner, Matt Aitken, Michael Holdsworth and Rebecca Heath