October 2007

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Police volunteers aid Games success

The interpersonal skills of Police volunteers were well received by all involved in the NZ Special Olympics National Games recently.

Six Police staff took annual leave to help the 46 Special Olympic athletes who snowboarded and skied at this year’s Games - held between 12-17 August at the Cardrona ski field near Wanaka.

Event organiser, Senior Constable Stew Hewett, Oamaru, says the officers were highly rated by the Special Olympics committee.

“Police officers have great interpersonal skills - they can relate to anyone. The athletes really responded well to them.” And Stew should know. He’s been involved with Special Olympics for more than 15 years.

“That’s why the Committee were happy for Stew to organise and coordinate the event,” says Christchurch Inspector Malcolm Johnston, one of the Police volunteers at the Games.

“Police are great organisers and Stew had the event going like clockwork,” says Malcolm. “The athletes have conditions such as Autism, Down Syndrome and Aspergers Syndrome, so some of the risk assessments attached to the athletes was a bit of a worry. But Stew had it all in hand.

“The amount of work he and Oamaru’s Sue Rudduck put into organising this event was phenomenal. They did a great job and really showed Police in a good light,” Malcolm says.

All up, the six Police volunteers have more than 47 years experience with the Special Olympics programme. Great snow and even better weather meant the Games were a resounding success.

Police volunteers at the recent Special Olympics at Cardrona.

From left, Constable Lynne Donaldson, Queenstown; Noel Joyce

and Sue Rudduck, Oamaru; Inspector Malcolm Johnston, Christchurch;

Senior Constable Stew Hewett, Oamaru; and Senior Sergeant Brian Benn, Dunedin.

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