Special Olympics Flame of Hope heads to Wellington

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

The Special Olympics torch is making it's way down the country as it heads to this year's destination in Wellington, with a 60 strong Special Olympic contingent from Hawke's Bay who carried it through Hastings.

The Special Olympics Flame of Hope was carried by the Hawke's Bay athlete contigent through central Hastings, a squad that has increased by 10 since the last Olympics four years ago in Dunedin.

"We've got 17 swimmers, there's twelve Tenpin Bowlers, four Golfers that will be interesting see how they get on and 3 Indoor Bowlers and 15 Botchie," says Margaret Baker, Team Manager.

They've been training at least twice a week in preparation, "I've been training pretty hard for the swimming. I'm doing 100 free 50 free and 50 backstroke and the team relay," says swimmer James Farrell.

They'll be part of 1300 athletes from 42 Special Olympic Clubs that will take part, a different organisation to the Paralympics which is for elite para sport events.

I think we'll be doing really well and pretty sure most of them will come back with a personal best if they don't come back with a medal well fine," says Baker.

The games are about inspiration and equality and will kick off on the 27th November for a week.