World Winter Games 2025: Preliminary Squad Named

Special Olympics New Zealand is thrilled to announce the athletes who have been named in the preliminary squad to represent New Zealand at the 2025 World Winter Games, which will be hosted in Torino, Italy from 8 – 16 March 2025. “Congratulations to those athletes selected in the preliminary squad, thank you to our Special Olympics Clubs and families for supporting their nominations and a warm welcome to our Management and Coaching Team who will begin preparing our athletes for final selection” Fran Scholey – CEO.    

Representatives from right across the country will be part of the squad flying the New Zealand flag at the games with athletes from eight separate Special Olympics clubs, from Southland to North Harbour, featuring in the Preliminary Squad.

2025 Special Olympics World Winter Games New Zealand Preliminary Squad:
Cosmo Adams, North Harbour – Snowboarding
Tim Clayton, Hawke’s Bay – Alpine Skiing
Marc Enderle, North Harbour – Alpine Skiing
Joseph Fitzpatrick-Bryant, Manawatu – Alpine Skiing
Nicholas Fyfe, Hutt Valley – Alpine Skiing
Jarrod Gilbert, Te Awamutu – Snowboarding
Rebecca Heath, Hutt Valley – Alpine Skiing
Mitchell Hartnett-Newlands, Auckland – Alpine Skiing
Grant McKenzie, Southland – Alpine Skiing
James Oliver, Canterbury – Alpine Skiing

The Preliminary Squad will now train and prepare for the Special Olympics Snow Camp in Wanaka from 10-17 August, where after the final assessments, the confirmed New Zealand Team is due to be announced in late August.

Alongside the athletes, Special Olympics New Zealand is pleased to confirm the coaches and management team who have been selected to work with Head of Delegation, Dave Cowie to train and prepare our athletes as they get ready to take on the world in Italy.

The athletes will be supported by five further coaches and support staff throughout their journey to Torino; Assistant Head of Delegation & Alpine Skiing coach Grant Haskell (North Harbour), Alpine Skiing coaches, Steve Wescott (North Harbour) and Lynette Donaldson (Southland), Snowboarding coach John Gilbert (Otago) and team doctor Nicole Lundon (Manawatu).

Due to the cancellation of the previous World Winter Games, this will be New Zealand Snow Sports’ athletes first opportunity to showcase their talents on the world stage since the 2017 World Winter Games in Austria, where the New Zealand team won 18 medals.

The Special Olympics World Winter Games are the world’s largest inclusive winter sports event – attracting thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities to compete in a variety of winter sports over nine days of exciting and inspiring competition.

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