Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Volunteers Flock From All Corners To Special Olympics National Summer Games

Dianne and Blair Payne are excited to be among the 600 volunteers who will support nearly 2000 athletes and coaches to participate in the Freemasons New Zealand Special Olympics National Summer Games in Hamilton.

The Queenstown couple both have a background as paramedics and will be among the numerous professionals giving up their time from December 8-12 to enable athletes with intellectual disabilities to go for gold.

“I can’t wait. I don’t know what to expect, but it will be so much fun,” says Dianne.

National Summer Games Volunteer Manager Nikki Cameron says the Games would not be possible without the volunteers and wants to celebrate the huge value they add to the event.

“This week is National Volunteer Week, so it very appropriate to thank those who will help us out in Hamilton, but also those hundreds of volunteers who work in our clubs all over the country,” says Nikki.

The Volunteer Manager had expected most of the volunteers would come from the Waikato area but says she was pleasantly surprised that volunteers are travelling from all over the country, like Dianne.

Dianne has worked as a St Johns emergency paramedic for over 30 years, and in recent years the couple had been looking to combine volunteering opportunities with their appetite for travel.

Most recently, she volunteered at a large public hospital in Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania, where she ended up teaching many of the staff how to use their equipment.

“The hospital had 700 beds but 1400 patients, so it was incredibly challenging, humbling but also satisfying,” says Dianne.

Instead of another exotic destination, the Paynes this year will be travelling to Hamilton for their next volunteering adventure.

“Blair saw an advert and signed us up, so it was a bit of a surprise,” says Dianne.

“We don’t have a personal connection with Special Olympics and don’t know what we are going to do, but we don’t care. We are happy to clean toilets if that’s what they need.

Whatever we do, it will just be great to be involved,” says Dianne, who has been doing some research and can’t wait to experience the opening and closing ceremonies.

Nikki Cameron says that the Games will need to fill a wide range of volunteer, some related to specific sports, as well as data entry for scoring, transport, accommodation, runners, marshals and volunteers organising medal ceremonies.

“We have just started our recruiting drive and have had a terrific response, but we’ve still got plenty of openings,” says Nikki, who explains that the volunteers so far range from students to business owners, medical professionals, Freemasons, Lions and Rotary members.

“So if you want to be part of Hamilton’s the biggest party of the year, go to our website to sign up.”

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland