Re­lay for Special Olympics

The Bay Chronicle - - WHAT’S ON - BAYLEY MOOR

Special Olympics ath­letes marched through Kerik­eri on Satur­day led by Se­nior Con­sta­ble Rob Cameron, mark­ing the be­gin­ning of a special torch re­lay.

The event sig­ni­fied the be­gin­ning of the Law En­force­ment Torch Run (LETR), which will see torches make their way from each end of New Zealand to Welling­ton - the venue for the Special Olympics Na­tional Sum­mer Games from Novem­ber 27 to De­cem­ber 1.

The LETR is a se­ries of runs and fundrais­ing events, which raise money and aware­ness for the Special Olympics move­ment. More than 90,000 po­lice of­fi­cers across 35 coun­tries take part.

Ath­letes from Kaitaia, Kerik­eri and Kaikohe will rep­re­sent Special Olympics Bay of Is­lands and com­pete in swim­ming and eques­trian events at New Zealand’s largest event for sports peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties.

The torch re­lay aimed to raise aware­ness and col­lect do­na­tions for the group’s trip to Welling­ton.

Kerik­eri swim­mer Rachel Harvie, 20, will be at­tend­ing her third Special Olympics and will com­pete in the 100 and 200 me­tre freestyle and breast­stroke events.

Harvie has also been se­lected as a global mes­sen­ger. She has been swim­ming since she was three and has lots of medals.

‘‘I will pro­mote the Special Olympics by giv­ing speeches at schools, clubs and other com­mu­nity events to spread the word about tak­ing part in Special Olympics,’’ Harvie says.

Ge­orge King from Kaitaia will join Harvie at the pool and says he loves swim­ming. ’’It’s fun and good ex­er­cise.’’

More than 7000 ath­letes train and com­pete through­out the coun­try in 13 dif­fer­ent sum­mer and win­ter sports.

This year’s Special Olympics will see more than 1300 ath­letes from 44 clubs through­out New Zealand take part in ath­let­ics, bas­ket­ball, bocce, eques­trian, foot­ball, golf, in­door bowls, pow­er­lift­ing, swim­ming and ten­pin bowl­ing.

‘‘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,’’ says Special Olympics chief ex­ec­u­tive Kathy Gib­son.

The Kerik­eri leg was the first to be held north of Whangarei.

See more pho­tos on page 17.

Kerik­eri swim­mer Rachel Harvie is look­ing for­ward to com­pet­ing at her third Special Olympics.

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