About Us

Special Olympics

Our Mission

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with an intellectual disability, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Our Vision

Our vision is to build the programmes offered by Special Olympics New Zealand so that every person with a learning disability has the opportunity, in their local community, to participate in high quality sport and development activities that bring life-changing experiences of increased skills, self-confidence and joy.

Our History

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 5 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs.

Special Olympics New Zealand was founded in 1983 in Lower Hutt by Grant Quinn.

Special Olympics Rotorua

Special Olympics Rotorua was formed in 1984.

We are affiliated with Special Olympics New Zealand and are a registered Charitable Trust. 

Atheletes can join from eight years old onward and there is no upper age limit. 

Athletes take part in weekly practices in five sports. We hope to eventually offer more but this is dependent on the availability of volunteer coaches. Athletes may go on to compete in competitions but are always welcome to join in practice sessions even if they have no interest in competitive sport.

Athletes from our club have taken part in tier one (ribbon days) and tier two (regional) sports competitions, national summer games (NSG) and international world summer games (WSG).