Leadership Programmes

Global Messengers:

Only athletes can effectively relate the impact that Special Olympics has had on their lives and the lives of their families. Global Messengers are Special Olympics athletes who attend workshops and training sessions to learn skills and gain confidence so that they are ready to help spread the message and vision of the movement – as well as the benefits they have gained by participating in Special Olympics. Global Messengers speak in their community and around New Zealand at seminars and conferences. They address functions and community groups about intellectual disability, Special Olympics and their experiences. Global Messengers influence the community and policy makers on issues of concern to the intellectual disability community and have the confidence and skills to respond positively and proactively around issues important to the intellectual disability community. Athletes who have gone through Global Messenger training are qualified to apply to be an International Global Messenger. Every two years, 12 athletes from around the world are selected to train and serve as International Global Messengers. Invite a Special Olympics New Zealand Global Messenger to speak to your school, group, organisation or at other venues and events. To book a Global Messenger or to find out more about how to become either a Global Messenger or mentor please contact Jo Torrance.


ALPS Programme:

Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Programmes (ALPs) allow athletes to explore opportunities in roles previously considered non-traditional. Participation might come in the form of an athlete serving on the Board of Directors or local organising committee or it might find an athlete as a spokesperson, team captain, coach or official. As athletes mature, they seek new challenges and look for ways to utilise the wisdom that comes from their life and Special Olympics experiences. ALPs initiatives are designed to provide those challenges and opportunities. ALPs initiatives also provide an excellent way to demonstrate to the larger community that athletes have talents and interests that sometimes go unnoticed. Athletes amaze their communities with their commitment, drive and athletic skill and then they show that they help direct and provide the programme for others.


Special Olympics Otago have had 5 ALP’s graduates since its inception. They are:

1.Craig Torrance

2.Chris Reilly

  1. Philip Lomas

4.Ryan Stewart

  1. Thomas Van Der Lugt (not currently involved in alps programme)


Sports Representatives:

We also have a group of Sports Representatives that meet and discuss how they think the sports are going and if there are any concerns. They are:

  • Peter Reilly- Basketball
  • Philip Lomas- Swimming
  • Ryan Stewart- Powerlifting
  • Thomas Van Der Lugt- Football (not currently involved with sports reps)
  • Robyn Harrison- Snowsports
  • Shayne Anderson- Indoor Bowls
  • Craig Torrance- Golf
  • Chris Reilly-Tenpin Bowling