Torch run raises funds

The Invercargill Eye - - CONVERSATIONS - RE­BECCA MOORE

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].’’

ROBYN EDIE/STUFF

Ath­lete Neville Clode, cen­tre front, with lo­cal Stags rugby play­ers Jack Capil, front, and Wil­lie Talataina-Mu.

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