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Special Olympians Count Down To Dublin

Media Release
29 May, 2003

Special Olympians Count Down To Dublin

As the 11th Special Olympics World Summer Games kick off in Dublin next month, New Zealand will be sending one of its largest teams ever, involving 40 of our top performing Special Olympic athletes and 20 coaching staff.

The 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games is set to be the world’s largest sporting event this year involving 7,000 athletes, 3,000 coaches and 30,000 volunteers from 160 countries around the world.

The Games take place over nine days between 21-29 June, and will be centred around the greater area of Dublin. The New Zealand team will be competing in seven different sports, including golf for the first time, swimming, athletics, bocce, equestrian, power lifting and ten pin bowling.

Special Olympics Executive Director and Head of Delegation for the Games, Chris Hooper, says over the last six months the team has been very focused on its preparation for Dublin.

“We have an immensely talented team of athletes going, who have shown amazing character and determination to get to where they are now,” he said.

“A testament to the lasting enjoyment the athletes get out of competing in the World Games is swimmer, Brent Busby, who competed for New Zealand in the 1983 World Games, 20 years ago.

“We’ve had to raise in the vicinity of $600,000 to send the team to Dublin, and are very grateful for the support of so many New Zealanders during our fundraising events including the Sky City Starlight Symphony and the Irish Golf day at Formosa.

“We also can’t say enough for the support we receive from our major sponsors Sky City Auckland, SPARC and Have A Snack, our numerous regional sponsors and the very generous donation from London based New Zealand philanthropist, Michael Watt.”

In 1999, the New Zealand team returned from the World Summer Games in North Carolina with 68 medals, including 27 golds. This year’s team is out to match if not better those results.

The best result of the Special Olympic World Games though is to see the smile on the athletes’ faces as they return to New Zealand with their new friends and a new sense of self-confidence.

For further information or to arrange an interview/ photograph with an athlete in your region please contact:

Natalie Fountain Hugo Shanahan
Special Olympics Hill and Knowlton
04 801 2532 09 367 6370

Members of the New Zealand 2003 Special Olympics Summer Games Team are:

Chris Hooper HOD Wellington
Sue Kysow AHOD Nelson
Paul Johns Team Doctor Dunedin
Anna Gerhardi AS Coach Wellington
Ian Morgan AS Coach Manawatu
Ian Deuart Swimming HC South Taranaki
Linda Nicholls Swimming AC North Taranaki
Susan Turnbull Swimming AC North Otago
Brent Busby Swimming Kapiti
Bernadette Coleman Swimming Nelson
Kent Czepanski Swimming Waikato
Tania Evans Swimming Southland
Rebecca Everard Swimming North Harbour
Timothy Faith Swimming Horowhenua
Katrina Hewett Swimming North Otago
Chris Joseph Swimming Hutt valley
Christie Ryan Swimming Auckland
Sarah Stalker Swimming North Canterbury
Andrew Withers Swimming Otago
Michael Smith Athletics HC Wanganui
Helen Atutahi Athletics AC Matamata
John Brunning Athletics AC Horowhenua
Duncan Campbell Athletics Tauranga
Catriona Gunning Athletics Auckland
Kylie Hogarth Athletics North Canterbury
Paul Hunter Athletics Central Otago
William Hussey Athletics Nelson
Murray Johns Athletics Waikato
Gary McMillan Athletics Bay of Plenty
Kaye McMurray Athletics Christchurch
Brendan Telfer Athletics Hutt Valley
Alan Hornblow Bocce HC Kapiti
Judy Marris Bocce AC Nelson
Justin Ashton Bocce Kapiti
Catherine Boyle Bocce Wanganui
Lincoln Coronno Bocce Wairoa
George Taylor Bocce Otago
Julie Trail Bocce Wanganui
Roslein Wilkes Equestrian HC Marlborough
Colleen Hunt Equestrian AC Nelson
Lance Dempsey Equestrian Horowhenua
Maria Dixon Equestrian Nelson
James Farrell Equestrian Hawkes Bay
Nicola Harvey Equestrian Marlborough
Brian Telfer Golf HC/Manager Hutt Valley
Michael Conder Golf Tauranga
Conrad Ryan Golf/Athletics Manawatu
Nigel Burgess Powerlifting HC Nelson
Brett Sutherland Powerlifting Southland
Arthur Fisher Ten Pin HC Nelson
Trisha Ventom Ten Pin AC Canterbury
Helen Coring Ten Pin Tamaki
Anne Fairhurst Ten Pin Taranaki
Darren Gordon Ten Pin Tamaki
Steven James Ten Pin Waikato
Robert McElwee Ten Pin North Harbour
Lynley North Ten Pin Waikato
Steven Roberts Ten Pin Manukau
Mandy Sandbrook Ten Pin Manawatu

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