Transforming lives through the gift of sport

Special Olympics go far beyond the physical benefits of sports. It provides sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities but also paves the way for empowerment through the sharing of gifts, talents and friendship.

Special Olympics

Special Olympics New Zealand offers a year-round programme of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

More than 7,000 athletes train and compete in 13 different Olympic-type summer and winter sports throughout New Zealand. Each year, Special Olympics New Zealand runs more than 200 events in over 40 towns and cities around the country. These events are supported by over 3000 volunteers and are facilitated through a network of Regional Sports Coordinators.

Special Olympics New Zealand is first and foremost a sports organisation but it provides athletes with far more than the physical benefits of sport. It’s about fun, friendships and team spirit; it’s about a feeling of belonging, and ultimately improving quality of life.

Special Olympics New Zealand also operates a free and comprehensive Healthy Athlete Screening programme. People with intellectual disabilities suffer needlessly from chronic pain and disease, blindness, hearing loss and other health conditions. Special Olympics New Zealand aims to reduce these health issues and with your help we can ensure these services continue.

Special Olympics enables its athletes to achieve and win not only in sport but in life too.

Special Olympics New Zealand website

Special Olympics Manawatu Club

With 180 athletes, over 40 volunteers, and a range of sports to choose from, the Specialy Olympics Manawatu Club provides all children and adults with disabilities the opportunt to attend hundreds of sporting events in the region.

We believe that sports training aimed at your ability can help change lives for a better future. Athletes experience meaningful competition, create lifelong friendships, enjoy social activities and regular coaching.

We help athletes to:

  • Improve their physical fitness
  • Develop a range of skills
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem
  • Make new friends—widen social networks
  • Increase independence
  • Earn recognition and acceptance
  • Enjoy active, healthy lifestyles

Current sports offered: Athletics, Aquatics, Swimming, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling/Ten Pin, Bowls, Indoor Football, Soccer, Golf, Power Lifting, Skiing and Snowboarding

Contact: Helen Johnson, Club Coordinator
Mobile: 027 258 8558

Special Olympics Manawatu Club
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Special Olympics Lower North Island

Contact Name: Julia Sanson
Phone: 027 299 4734
Regional office: 50 Queen Street, Palmerston North


Special Olympics Lower North Island
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