Police and Special Olympics New Zealand athletes are poised for a run through central Invercargill on Saturday 1 October to kick off the nationwide Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) supporting the Freemasons New Zealand Special Olympics National Summer Games being held from 8 to 12 December in Hamilton.
A large contingent of New Zealand Police will run alongside Special Olympics athletes, coaches and families from the Southland clubs and carry the “Flame of Hope” through Queens Park in Invercargill, starting at the Feldwick Gate, from 10am.
Before they head off, the runners and walkers will be met by Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt and a reception held where Special Olympics athletes and LETR runners will speak about the Torch Run and Special Olympics.
The flame symbolises courage, celebrates diversity, and unites communities around the globe with over 97,000 law enforcement members carrying the “Flame of Hope” at events annually.
Inspector Mark Harrison, chair of the LETR New Zealand Charitable Trust and New Zealand LETR director, says “ LETR epitomises what policing is about – being an active part of the community and supporting positive community initiatives. It would be great to have the community cheer us on tomorrow.”
Special Olympics chief executive Carolyn Young is excited the nationwide Law Enforcement Torch Run is kicking off this weekend to mark the final countdown to the National Summer Games.
“Our clubs have been building up to our pinnacle event for five years, and the LETR is a wonderful way to raise awareness around the country and to get everyone excited about the National Summer Games,” says Young.
“We are very grateful to the New Zealand Police for being such a fantastic partner in this event for so many years and we hope the people of Invercargill and the rest of the country will come out in numbers to show their support for our athletes.”
The torch will be travelling through most major centres in New Zealand in the next two months.
Media are invited to attend the Torch Run and photographers are welcome. Special Olympics New Zealand will also be photographing the event and is happy to supply images to media as requested.
For more information about Invercargill run contact:
Inspector Mike Bowman Area Commander Southern – 021 191 5179
For general information about Torch Run contact:
Inspector Mark Harrison New Zealand Police - 021 190 7805
Donna Milne, Special Olympics Southland Board Chair - 027 471 0782
Coen Lammers Media Manager Special Olympics New Zealand - 021-730- 239
To find out more about the Special Olympics National Summer Games visit www.SpecialOlympics.org.nz
Issued by Police Media Centre