Special Olympics is an international organisation that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Through year-round sports training and athletic competition and other related programming for more than 4 million children and adults with intellectual disabilities in more than 170 countries, Special Olympics has created a model community that celebrates people's diverse gifts.
Founded in 1968 by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realise their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. There is no cost to participate in Special Olympics.

Special Olympics New Zealand is the national body that supports athletes from all regions of New Zealand. There are nearly 6000 registered athletes in New Zealand.

Special Olympics Wellington is the local Club responsible for organising training and competition in the Wellington City area. The Club is affiliated to Special Olympics New Zealand and operates under SONZ Club Rules. Approximately 120 athletes are involved in a number of different sports.

Our Club patron is Special Olympics New Zealand Life Member, Merrill Holdsworth.

Special Olympics aims:

  • to provide training for 44-46 weeks in each year;
  • to encourage fitness and a healthy lifestyle;
  • to have quality coaching and competition programmes for all sports,
  • to enable as many athletes as possible to participate, train and compete in a wide variety of sports events;
  • to assist athletes develop sports, social skills, build friendships and team spirit through their sports training and competition;
  • to promote and assist the inclusion of people with an intellectual disability in community events and activities.

Special Olympics Athletes Oath:

Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. Kia toa ahau. Ki te kore ahau e toa, kia maia ahau ahakoa ka hinga.