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Police and service personnel to guide Special Olympics Flame

Police and service personnel to guide Special Olympics Flame of Hope to National Games

Police and service personnel from towns and cities throughout New Zealand will show their support for Special Olympics in coming weeks, by taking part in a series of torch runs leading to the Special Olympics New Zealand National Summer Games in Wellington in November.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is an important part of any big Special Olympics competition. Similar in style to the Olympic torch relay, it is a series of runs and fundraising events, that raise awareness and money for the Special Olympics movement. Globally more than 90,000 police professionals and supporters across 35 countries participate.

From 30 September to 24 November, LETR events will be held in 31 locations throughout New Zealand, culminating at the National Summer Games in Wellington. 1300 athletes from 42 Special Olympics Clubs and three schools are set to take part in the Games.

“The LETR is one of the highlights of major Special Olympics events, and this year we are excited that the torches will travel to all regions and Clubs taking part in the National Summer Games,” said Kathy Gibson, Chief Executive for Special Olympics New Zealand.

“As well as raising valuable awareness of Special Olympics in New Zealand, the LETR is also working to promote and support our Athlete Leadership Programme (ALPs) – a programme that aims to provide athletes with the tools and experiences to become leaders in their own right and to speak for themselves.

“The support of the New Zealand Police and other service personnel is hugely valued and we look forward to taking to the streets with them as we move throughout the country!”

Inspector Mark Harrison, of Palmerston North, is Director of LETR NZ. “Once again we are delighted to be able to support the build up to the National Summer games. Law Enforcement staff are proud to run alongside the athletes through our communities as the “Flame of Hope” makes its way to the Games in Wellington.

The Flame represents so much of what policing is about – it stands for hope, courage, opportunity, inspiration and equality.”

Held every four years, the Special Olympics New Zealand National Summer Games is the largest event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in New Zealand. The Games are run by Special Olympics New Zealand, which provides a year-round programme of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, through 44 local Clubs. It is a different organisation to Paralympics New Zealand, which supports people with physical disabilities to compete in elite international para sport events.

Law Enforcement Torch Run events

Two torches will move throughout the country, starting in Kerikeri and Invercargill, and meeting in Wellington on 24 November.

Saturday 30 November: Kerikeri, Invercargill

Sunday 1 October: Whangarei

Tuesday 3 October: Dunedin

Thursday 5 October: Orewa, Oamaru

Friday 6 October: Takapuna, Timaru

Saturday 7 October: Henderson

Sunday 8 October: Auckland Central, Christchurch

Wednesday 11 October: Papakura

Wednesday 18 October: Paeroa

Saturday 21 October: Manukau, Nelson

Monday 23 October: Pukekohe

Wednesday 25 October: Blenheim and Picton

Friday 27 October: Greymouth

Saturday 28 October: Hamilton

Friday 3 November: New Plymouth

Saturday 4 November: Tauranga

Sunday 5 November: Hawera

Wednesday 8 November: Wanganui, Rotorua

Friday 10 November: Feilding

Saturday 11 November: Palmerston North, Taupo

Wednesday 15 November: Levin

Friday 17 November: Paraparaumu

Saturday 18 November: Porirua, Napier/Hasting

Sunday 19 November: Lower Hutt

Friday 24 November: Wellington


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