Torch run raises funds
Special Olympians in Southland were ‘‘empowered’’ walking in the Flame of Hope run, an organiser says.
Special Olympics New Zealand lower south regional sports coordinator Michelle Greenwood said about 80 athletes and their families, friends, police, Southland Stags players and staff from The Hits radio station came out to support the cause on Saturday.
The event signifies the beginning of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, where two flames move throughout the country – one starting in Invercargill and the other in Kerikeri and end in Wellington, the venue for the 2017 Special Olympics National Summer Games on November 27. In Invercargill the flame was carried through Queens Park.
It was one of 31 torch run events taking place throughout the country in the lead-up to the games.
Greenwood said it was to raise awareness and funds for the organisation that allowed people with physical or intellectual disabilities to take part in sports.
Everyone took turns holding the torch with a police officer or local public figure.
‘‘They were super excited, it was very exciting for them ... the weather on the day was brilliant and their families really enjoy getting out [and supporting them].’’
Athlete Neville Clode, centre front, with local Stags rugby players Jack Capil, front, and Willie Talataina-Mu.