Cardrona hosting Special Olympics NZ winter games

Cardrona Alpine Resort will host the Special Olympics New Zealand National Winter Games next week.

The four-yearly event will this year involve 51 athletes representing 20 clubs from throughout New Zealand. They will be joined by 28 coaches and additional support people, plus a dozen volunteers.

Athletes will range in age from 17 to 50-plus, with a mix of alpine skiers and snowboarders competing across Super G, slalom and giant slalom disciplines.

Special Olympics New Zealand event manager Sue Kysow said after an opening ceremony yesterday morning "divisioning races" would be run to assess the ability of each athlete.

A series of divisions would then be created in novice, intermediate and advanced grades so athletes could take part at an appropriate level of competition.

"The whole philosophy of Special Olympics is to recognise their ability so it's not just for the elite-level athletes," Ms Kysow said.

"It means everybody competes against athletes of a comparable ability level and that gives everyone a chance to excel and encourages everyone to demonstrate their abilities and talents."

The results from next week's national event - which competitors qualified for previously at a regional level - would be the "springboard" for athletes and coaches to be nominated for the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, in South Korea, Ms Kysow said.

The games will finish with an awards presentations and a short closing ceremony on Friday.

While a tender process was held for hosting rights for the games each time, Cardrona had been the event's "main base".


Add a Comment



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter