NZCT Boosts Team Spirit with New Kits for Special Olympics Otago.

"Wearing the Special Olympics Otago Uniform makes me feel included and part of the Otago team."
Ryan Stewart, a powerlifting athlete

A $13,261 grant from New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) to Special Olympics Otago Trust, will ensure their athletes and coaches are dressed to the nines when they represent their region at upcoming events.

Joanne Torrance, Secretary and Sports Coordinator of the Special Olympics Otago Trust, emphasised, "Dunedin will be hosting the Regional Summer Games in 2024, and in December 2025, we'll be taking our athletes to the New Zealand Special Olympics National Summer Games in Christchurch.

It's crucial for our athletes to have a sense of pride when representing the region, and our old uniforms were worn out. The new outfits will help with easier identification and supervision and instil a team spirit.

Torrance further highlighted the broader impact of their participation in tournaments, explaining, "The opportunity to travel to regional and national events is not only motivational from a competitive standpoint, but also provides one of the few opportunities for our athletes to experience participating in a team environment."

David Sullivan, a swimming, indoor bowls, and golf athlete, expressed, "I'm proud to be a member of the Special Olympics. The uniform shows the public that I belong and encourages people to ask questions about the Special Olympics."

Ryan Stewart, a powerlifting athlete, shared, "Wearing the Special Olympics Otago Uniform makes me feel included and part of the Otago Team."

Philip Lomas, a swimming, ten-pin bowling, and indoor bowls athlete, added, "Wearing the Special Olympics Otago uniform is important to me as it represents the area that I come from."

NZCT’s GM for Grants, Marketing and Communications, Ben Hodges adds “Special Olympic athletes’ commitment and sportsmanship is exemplary, and they deserve uniforms befitting their status as sporting role models. NZCT is grateful for our fundraising partnership with Otago hospitality venues that made this grant possible.’’