To celebrate its 51st anniversary last July, Special Olympics International organised a host of events and activities focused on Unified Sports.
In Unified Sports, Special Olympians compete alongside and against people with and without intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics New Zealand celebrated the Special Olympics Global Day of Inclusion with an exhibition football match in Christchurch on July 21,
The New Zealand World Summer Games Unified football team took on an invitational team made up of local athletes and Christchurch City councillors on the famous cricket pitch at Hagley Oval.
The match featured on TVNZ’s Seven Sharp programme and Frank Walmsley explained that as a unified partner in the team, he is part of the team, and not a coach.
“We’re there to play with the team, be part of the team. We make sure that everybody’s getting passed to, keeping their heads up when they go a goal behind. Just there to support the others,” said Walmsley.
Special Olympics NZ Chief Executive Carolyn Young said that unified sport creates great opportunities for people to connect. “And we really saw that at the Christchurch match.”
“The match provided an opportunity to showcase the benefits of making connections with a broader range of people in our community and demonstrates that we are better together.”
Both teams had great fun and put in an amazing performance. At the end of the day the World Summer Games team came out on top with a 1-0 win.
If you want to see the action on Seven Sharp, please follow this link.