Monday, February 26, 2024

Ōtautahi wins bid for Special Olympics

Christchurch has secured hosting rights for the 2025 Special Olympics National Summer Games, Christchurch City Council has announced.

Around 1,300 athletes will compete across three days in 11 different sports, including swimming, athletics, bowling, and basketball. The Games will also provide selection opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities to attend the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2026.

Christchurch City Council Head of Recreation, Sports and Events, Nigel Cox says winning the bid for the Games was a great accomplishment for the city.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting the Games and look forward to welcoming all the athletes, coaches and their supporters to our city in 2025,” said Mr Cox.

“Hosting the event is a fantastic opportunity to showcase all that Ōtautahi Christchurch has to offer, to promote the Special Olympics movement, and to inspire and support potential Special Olympians in our region.”

Special Olympics New Zealand says that in addition to the 1300 athletes, 300 coaches and 600 volunteers from across the country will attend the National Summer Games in Christchurch.

“We hope that bringing one of the biggest sporting events in New Zealand to Christchurch will be a big boost for the city and will showcase our athletes in the amazing new facilities that Christchurch has to offer,” says Special Olympics New Zealand Chief Executive, Carolyn Young.

The Games will be held in a number of sporting facilities across the city, including Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub and Parakiore Recreation and Sport Centre.

Currently under construction, Parakiore Recreation and Sport Centre will be the largest aquatic and indoor recreation and leisure venue of its kind in Australasia. Located in central Christchurch, Parakiore will host the basketball and swimming competitions.

“With so many sports facilities lost in the earthquakes, it has been more than 15 years since Ōtautahi-Christchurch last hosted the National Summer Games. We look forward to again being able to host such a significant national competition,” says Mr Cox.

The 2025 Special Olympics Summer Games will be held in December 2025.

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