Wanaka parents Claire O'Connell, Leanne Little and Jason
Pryde are on the committee of the new Upper Clutha
sub-branch of the Central Otago Special Olympics Club.
Absent is Craig Harding. Photos by Marjorie Cook.
Game On Everyone, a new recreation club for Upper Clutha
people with intellectual disabilities, hopes to improve links
between sports clubs and families so members can have more
opportunities for achievement and competition.
The Upper Clutha club is a sub-branch of the Central Otago
Special Olympics Club and will hold a membership drive at the
Wanaka Bowling Club on May 27.
Subcommittee chairman Jason Pryde said yesterday the club was
formed after Mt Aspiring College sports co-ordinator Kelly
Bailey started a project last year to encourage pupils with
intellectual disabilities to participate in school swimming
sports, ten-pin bowling and other activities.
Parents had now decided to take the project a step further,
after a meeting last year attended by 20 people.
Mr Pryde said Wanaka and its surrounding districts was
regarded as a recreational "paradise" and the parents wanted
their children to enjoy it too.
Members of the new club, Ferdia O'Connell (11) and Shenee
Pryde (12), try petanque.
Claire O'Connell said it had been exciting last year to
see her son, Ferdia, participate in sports alongside his peers
and to compete at cross-country skiing at the Snow Farm for the
"We have been talking about doing something like this for
years," Mrs O'Connell said.
Leanne Little, the Wanaka Primary School special needs
co-ordinator and mother of Ewan (9), said community
organisations were expressing willingness to work with the
Cardrona Alpine Resort already had an adaptive ski programme
and hoped to trial a pilot programme for children with
intellectual disabilities, she said.
Game On Everyone included all people with intellectual
disabilities, regardless of age.
The club's goals included building self-confidence,
self-esteem and a sense of achievement, while providing
pathways to competition, if that was wanted.
Mrs Little said while the growing Upper Clutha population was
still small (2006 Census 7002), there were "quite a few"
people with intellectual disabilities living in the
community, including a "high proportion" of children on the
T• he Game On Everyone club information day will be at the
Wanaka Bowling Club on May 27 between 3pm-5pm.