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Special Olympics and ING NZ join forces

For immediate release
8 June 2005

Special Olympics and ING NZ join forces

Special Olympics New Zealand (SONZ), the organisation that promotes sporting opportunities to people with an intellectual disability, and international financial services company ING (NZ) Limited, announced today that they have reached agreement for ING to support SONZ towards its goal of doubling athlete participation rates by 2010.

ING, recently named Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year for the tenth time in 13 years, will contribute to SONZ events and activities in the following ways. It will:

• Promote the SONZ cause to its many stakeholders, both internal and external, through a variety of distribution channels
• Offer ING staff as volunteers for a range of SONZ events
• Give SONZ assistance in a developing Special Olympics sport where ING can offer particular expertise, such as golf.
“We are delighted that ING has agreed to come on board to help us in several key areas of our development and growth,” said SONZ Chief Executive Angus McLeod. “They will do this by offering us connections with their many stakeholders, and also by providing volunteers, which is always a priority for us.”

ING’s General Manager Marketing, Steven Giannoulis, said SONZ was a good strategic fit with ING’s charitable sponsorship philosophy, which aimed to encourage New Zealanders to better their lives and the lives of others around them.

“Furthermore, in line with ING’s business principle of actively demonstrating our social commitment to the community, the company will be encouraging all employees to play a positive role in community activities such as SONZ events around the country,” Mr Giannoulis said.

The relationship is already under way, with ING staff assisting in SONZ’s recent street appeal in association with SKYCITY. The appeal successfully raised funds to send athletes from Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga to the SONZ National Games in Christchurch at the end of this year.

ENDS


Notes for Editors: Special Olympics New Zealand (SONZ) is a registered charitable organisation which has operated throughout New Zealand since 1983. It is dedicated to providing sports training and competition for children and adults with an intellectual disability. SONZ emphasises participation for individuals at all levels of ability, achieving personal best performances, and regular coaching, training and competition for all athletes. Just over 3100 athletes currently participate on a regular basis. SONZ is supported by SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust (SKYCITY has been principal sponsor since 1996), SPARC and Provender.

Special Olympics was founded in the US in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. There are more than 150 accredited national programmes world wide. The flagship events for the movement are the international Special Olympics World Games, which are held every two years alternating between summer and winter games. The last summer games were held in Dublin, Ireland, in June 2003. New Zealand athletes brought home 60 medals, including 20 gold. The most recent international event in which New Zealand competed was the World Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, in mid-February 2005. Six athletes brought home 11 medals, including 4 gold.

The largest Special Olympics event ever held in New Zealand, the SONZ National and Asia-Pacific Invitation Games, will be held in Christchurch in November/December 2005. Some 2000 athletes are expected at these games, including a number from overseas.

ING New Zealand is part of the global ING Group, one of the world’s largest investment, banking and insurance organisations. A strong global presence, as well as a unique regional emphasis, enables ING to pursue an innovative client-focused approach to its business in New Zealand.

In New Zealand, ING’s objective is to help clients meet their financial goals through the accumulation, investment and protection of assets. Products and services offered include investment management, savings and life insurance.

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