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Special Olympics South Taranaki at a cross-roads

Special Olympics South Taranaki at a cross-roads


The sports dreams of several South Taranaki athletes are being stymied by a lack of volunteers in the area.

Special Olympics South Taranaki has a waiting list of people with intellectual disabilities wanting to join its successful sports training programme but doesn’t have the ‘people power’ to get them on board.

“Quite simply, we need more volunteers to meet demand. We are a very successful Club with some talented athletes who train weekly in swimming and indoor bowls. But to date the organisation of the Club has fallen on a few, increasingly exhausted, volunteers. We are after some vibrant, enthusiastic volunteers to join the committee, and to help administrate sports training and events,” says Sharon Waller, Chairperson of the Club, who has resigned from the position, effective next month.

Sharon has led the Club for the past six years. Over that time it has grown from a few athletes coached by family members to a thriving team of 24 athletes who have competed around New Zealand. She says increasing work and personal commitments have forced her to step down from the Chairperson role.

“2013 is a very big year for Special Olympics South Taranaki with the Special Olympics New Zealand National Summer Games in Dunedin at the end of the year. More than 1200 athletes from around the country with intellectual disabilities are expected to attend the event, and we will be sending a team. Given the opportunities abound, it was a difficult decision to resign,” she says.

“We have a small but very dedicated group of volunteers who help our athletes train and fundraise. One of our indoor bowling coaches has been volunteering with Special Olympics for 35 years, and is still today organising sausage sizzles, raffles etc to help our teams get to the National Games.

“Over the past six years Special Olympics South Taranaki has become much more professional in its approach and we need some volunteers to come on board who have computer and administration skills to continue its growth, and take it to the next level,” she says.

Special Olympics South Taranaki is looking for volunteers to fill the following roles: Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, committee members, Assistant Coaches, and sports assistants.
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