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Special Olympics New Zealand

Special Olympics is a world-wide sporting organisation for anyone with an intellectual disability.

The Oath of Special Olympics is “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”. The oath depicts the whole meaning of Special Olympics which is that everyone can compete at their own ability level – there is no Eliteness in Special Olympics, everyone gets a placing in every event.

The aim of Special Olympics is to create continuing opportunities with development of physical fitness and social acceptance to demonstrate courage. To experience the joy of achievement and involvement, to be actively included in the community and to build social and sporting interaction skills and to make friends. 

The Hawkes Bay Special Olympics swimming squad totals approximately 20 athletes, and they train weekly in the Onekawa Pool - and attend a second training session in the Waipukurau Swimming Pool before the annual Special Olympics National Summer Games.

"Over the years we have tried to update the swimming gear to a more modern and easy to handle material for the towels and robes. This makes it easier for the coaches to get them washed, dried, and ready for the next day." - Margaret Baker, Sports Coordinator for Special Olympics Hawke's Bay. 

"We have been most appreciative of the support that Hawkes Bay Mini-Tankers have given us, and their association with Z." Having upgraded the robes, sports bags and towels, the coaches were most appreciative when they headed to the Special Olympics National Games last November - an event which included 1300 competing athletes and 1000 volunteers.

"We also have had the help of a gentleman from Z, who was a mentor for one of our athletes who was selected on the Global Messenger programme run annually by Special Olympics New Zealand. This programme is to encourage and educate the athletes selected to help spread the word about Special Olympics and its benefits and opportunities."

Being a voluntary organisation Special Olympics New Zealand are always looking for volunteers and donations. Those who get involved always find that the most rewarding factor is seeing the athletes attain the levels that they do in the sport they choose.


We reckon Special Olympics New Zealand do amazing work for their local communities, and they're always looking for new volunteers to help them continue their work. To find out more about how to become a volunteer, please visit their website here