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Young Athletes takes off in Auckland

Our internationally acclaimed sport and play programme is set to take Auckland by storm in 2022.

Young Athletes takes off in Auckland

Jemma Drake – Young Athletes Officer

Kia ora koutou, some of you may know me from the Lower North Island as your old Regional Sports Coordinator, but I have recently taken the opportunity to become the Young Athletes Officer and have made the big move up to Auckland!   

Young Athletes has been running internationally since 2005, and is in 70% of all countries that have Special Olympics programmes already, so we decided it’s Aotearoa’s turn to join in! We are offering the programme to children ages 2-10 years-old, where we aim to develop fundamental skills such as running, throwing, jumping, along with important social skills like sharing, taking turns and hopefully making lots of new friends! 

A Young Athlete at the Wellington pilot programme testing his coordination and agility.

We’ve had an exciting time preparing the programme for Auckland; gaining feedback from our pilot programmes in 2019 and 2020 along with speaking to schools, community organisations and prospective volunteers, including our amazing Auckland athlete leaders who will be providing coaching support alongside Special Olympics staff.  

If you’re interested in volunteering for this programme we’d love to hear from you! You can get in touch by emailing yap@specialolympics.org.nz 

Volunteer Michael Holdsworth playing catch with a Young Athlete at the Wellington pilot programme.

Young Athletes will be starting in January 2022 with each programme lasting 8 weeks long. We will be doing sessions in schools, afterschool and on the weekend.  

If you want to learn more about the programme, upcoming sessions, or want to register a Young Athlete check out our official webpage at specialolympics.org.nz/young-athletes 

We can’t wait to get started, bring on 2022! 

Noho ora mai, 

Jemma 

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December 2021 Fanletter