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Max to lead Special Olympics New Zealand to LA2015

Monday 9 June 2014 For immediate release

Media release

Max to lead Special Olympics New Zealand to LA2015

Special Olympics New Zealand has announced Max Brooking will lead its team to Los Angeles, USA next year at the Special Olympics World Summer Games.

The Special Olympics World Summer Games 2015, known as “LA2015”, will be the world’s largest sports event for people with intellectual disabilities. More than 7000 athletes from 177 countries will compete at the event being held from 25 July 2015 to 2 August 2015.

Max Brooking will head a delegation of around 35 New Zealand athletes with intellectual disabilities, and supporting staff to the Games. The selection process is now underway and the team will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Special Olympics New Zealand is delighted to have Max Brooking leading our delegation to Los Angeles next year. LA2015 will be the biggest sporting event to be held in LA since the 1984 Olympics and New Zealand will be there to share in the glory. It will be a chance for our athletes to compete on the international stage, demonstrating their physical fitness, courage, and fortitude,” says Kathy Gibson, Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics New Zealand.

“Max has been involved with Special Olympics New Zealand for many years, and has worked tirelessly to raise our profile and respect of our athletes in the community. He is a fantastic leader and has considerable experience in travelling with our athletes, and empowering them at major events.”

Based in Waitara, Taranaki, Max chairs Special Olympics North Taranaki and has coached their basketball team in addition to his ‘day job’ as Investigator at the Ministry of Social Development. He has been involved with Special Olympics in Taranaki since its inception and was a member of its founding Club committee. Max has been Head of Delegation of several Taranaki delegations attending national events and held senior coaching roles at the 1991 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Minneapolis-St Paul, USA, 1993 National Summer Games in Singapore; 2002 National Summer Games in Australia, and 2011 World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

“The Head of Delegation position is a wonderful role and I am very much looking forward to leading the team to LA in 2015. The next 12 months are going to be very busy with training and organising the New Zealand team. Special Olympics New Zealand is a wonderful organisation. I’ve learnt so much being part of it, from the perspective of a sports coach, community leader, and father of an athlete,” says Max.

“I’ve seen first-hand the positive influence Special Olympics has on athletes. For our daughter, Heidi, who was born with microcephaly, training with Special Olympics has meant she has been able to participate in a meaningful sports programme, be part of a team, and travel independently to compete against her peers around the country. It has been life changing; and that’s the essence of Special Olympics New Zealand. It offers athletes with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to integrate into society and we see a growing sense of pride and achievement in those who participate. It’s not just about the sport, it’s about the social development of people.”

Special Olympics New Zealand:

Words Matter—Special Olympics Language Guidelines for media

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