Flame of Hope com­ing to town

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Your Local News - SAM KILMISTER

Manawatu¯ po­lice will join the re­gion’s top ath­letes to carry the Spe­cial Olympics Flame of Hope through Feild­ing.

The Novem­ber 10 event is part of the law en­force­ment torch run, which sees torches re­layed from each end of New Zealand to Welling­ton – the venue for the 2017 Spe­cial Olympics Na­tional Sum­mer Games.

Sim­i­lar in style to the Olympic torch re­lay, the law en­force­ment torch run is a se­ries of runs rais­ing aware­ness and money for the Spe­cial Olympics. More than 90,000 po­lice of­fi­cers around the world par­tic­i­pate.

Spe­cial Olympics New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Kathy Gib­son said the Feild­ing leg would be­gin at 10.30am from the town’s po­lice sta­tion on Kim­bolton Rd.

Spe­cial Olympics ath­letes and po­lice would carry the Flame of Hope down Kim­bolton Rd, along Manch­ester St and Fer­gus­son St, and then up Ao­rangi St and back to the po­lice sta­tion.

Ran­gi­tikei MP Ian McKelvie will also make an ap­pear­ance and stu­dents from Feild­ing High School’s spe­cial needs unit will cheer ath­letes on. Gib­son said the run helped pro­mote and sup­port the Spe­cial Olympics’ ath­lete lead­er­ship pro­gramme.

‘‘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,’’ she said.

Palmer­ston North in­spec­tor Mark Har­ri­son said law en­force­ment staff were proud to run along­side ath­letes through their com­mu­ni­ties.

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

The Feild­ing leg is one of 31 torch runs in the lead-up to the Spe­cial Olympics Na­tional Sum­mer Games. More than 1300 ath­letes from 42 Spe­cial Olympics clubs and three schools will take part in this year’s games, which take place from Novem­ber 27 to De­cem­ber 1.

Gib­son said the Spe­cial Olympics were held ev­ery four years and was the largest event for ath­letes with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties.

NIGEL MOFFIET

The Spe­cial Olympics Flame of Hope torch cer­e­mony makes its way through Pa­pakura, Auck­land, on its way to Feild­ing.

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