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Special Olympian Gets A Head Start

12 October 2003

New Skis Give Local Special Olympian A Head Start At The World Games

Local Special Olympian Paul Spencer (Tamaki) has been given a head start to his international skiing career. Thanks to Auckland ski and snowboard equipment provider 'Snow Centre' Paul has just been donated a brand new set of skis to use when he competes at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, in February next year.

Paul was selected to join the New Zealand team after showing outstanding skill at the 2004 Special Olympics New Zealand National Winter Games in August and he became known to Snow Centre through a coach at the event.

Keen to support him and his team mate Brodie Carvalho (Otago), Snow Centre quickly pledged two brand new sets of skis to the athletes for their use at the World Games.

"Paul and Brodie are competing at a very high level and deserve our ultimate support," says Snow Centre spokesperson Dion Brown. "New gear will certainly give them a head start, and we can't wait to see how they go at the Games next year."

The Special Olympics World Winter Games - an international competition developed for outstanding athletes with intellectual disabilities - is held only once every four years, and is the ultimate competition for Special Olympics winter sport athletes.

Special Olympics New Zealand CEO Angus McLeod is thrilled that Snow Centre has jumped on board to support Paul and Brodie.

"Winter sports gear can be very expensive, especially when you compare it to some of the other sports we offer such as swimming, athletics, tenpin and basketball. We rely heavily on community support to help athletes compete at events like the World Winter Games, and are very grateful to Snow Centre for their generous donation."

Fellow skiers Sara Perkins (Otago), Hamish Chand (Canterbury) and Robyn Harrison (Otago), and ice figure skater Nicholas Apperley (Canterbury) will join Paul and Brodie in the New Zealand team to travel to the World Games. Dave Pryor (Christchurch) will head the delegation, with Head Alpine Ski Coach Bridget Spencer (Wellington), Assistant Alpine Ski Coach Brian Benn (Otago) and Head Figure Skating Coach Marina Tsevina (Christchurch) supporting the group. Nicholas' father, Eric Apperley, has been invited to the Games as a figure skating official.


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