In this issue we are very proud to feature two form ILC students who have been selected and are currently attending the 2023 Summer Special Olympics in Berlin.

They are Finn McNally(football) and Matthew Smith (Swimming). 

Matthew has been involved with Special Olympics for 13 years and is currently competing in three events : 25m backstroke, 50m backstroke and 4 x 25m Relay. He has to date achieved personal best times in every event he has competed in, even though he hasn’t been feeling his best. Like all the athletes at this meet, they are very determined and always strive to be the best they can be. He says that meeting new friends and having fun are reasons why he has participated for so long.

Matthew also appeared on Breakfast speaking on behalf of the team. Check it out here

Finn is playing 7 a side football team. NZ has never scored in Football at the Special Olympic World games and has never won a game. However to date the team have scored 5goals and Finn has scored 3 of these! In their most recent division game they beat Austria7-1. Finn has been involved in Special Olympics for about 10 years and has played ten pin bowling, basketball and football training at least once a week for each code.

What Finn loves about Special Olympics is that he gets plenty of game time and feels successful because he’s playing sport with others of like ability. There is an emphasis on empowerment, playing your best and having fun.

The efforts of these two Alumni can be summed up really well in the Special Olympics oath “let me win but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt.”

Finn McNally — Image by: Ryan Cox