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David Rutherford Appted to Special Olympics Board

David Rutherford Appointed to Special Olympics Board

5 July - The trustees of Special Olympics New Zealand (SONZ) announced today that David Rutherford had joined the board as a trustee.

SONZ chairman Robin Sheffield said the board was delighted to have been able to attract someone of Mr Rutherford’s calibre at a time of unprecedented change in the organisation.

”We are currently facing major demands on our resources as a result of a number of factors,” Mr Sheffield said. “These demands come from the issues in front of the disability sport sector as a whole, the needs identified by the strategic review undertaken by Cameron & Company to strengthen the organisation’s governance, infrastructure and capabilities, the ambitious growth targets we have identified, and our large national games event at the end of this year.”

Robin Sheffield said David Rutherford had been appointed to help the board provide pro-active input in these areas:

- Strategic and financial planning, including developing the organisation’s capabilities
- Building stakeholder networks and communication with stakeholders
- Fundraising.

Mr Rutherford comes to SONZ with a wealth of experience that encompasses:

- Leadership positions in business and sport
- Involvement in the disability sector
- Sport, human rights and business law.

He is a commercial and sports lawyer with Gibson Sheat in Wellington and a director of Paralympics.


Note to editors: About Special Olympics

Special Olympics New Zealand (SONZ) is a registered charitable organisation that 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 under 3200 athletes currently participate on a regular basis. SONZ is supported by SKYCITY (our principal sponsor since 1996), SPARC, Provender and ING (NZ) Ltd.

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 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 Games, will be held in Christchurch in November/December 2005. Some 2000 athletes are expected at these games, including a number from overseas.

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