Good news for Special Olympics Manawatu. NZCT awarded the organisation $5,000 to support the Special Olympics Manawatu team to attend the 2017 Special Olympics National Summer Games in Wellington.
Special Olympics Manawatu provides meaningful sport opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. They have over 35 coaches and team managers in Manawatu who offer regular training and competition for up to 200 athletes participating in 12 sporting disciplines.
Helen Johnson is Coordinator at Special Olympics Manawatu. She said, “Participating in the National Summer Games is a challenge for us. We are sending a team of 150 athletes and coaches, who represent nine different sports, to the Nationals. In total, the event will cost Special Olympics Manawatu around $112,000. We ask every athlete to make a contribution of $700 and NZCT helps us with this grant to cover costs for registration, accommodation and travel. We also want to provide each sports team with a bag with various sporting items and first aid kits.”
According to Helen Johnson, the road to the Special Olympics National Summer Games is as important for the athletes as the games themselves. “Because of the extra training hours in the period before the event, the team get healthier, stronger and more confident. The Nationals provide each athlete with five free Healthy Athlete screenings. During the National Summer Games the athletes spend a week away from home and they build up a social network. Sometimes they even make friends for life!”