Edition Four - November 2016
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Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017
Only one week to go!
Yes this time next week, Day one of competition will be well and truly underway - we can't wait to greet all of you in Hamilton. Below is some last minute, important information, make sure you print the newsletter and ensure you have covered everything as you prepare for your trip....

A word from our NZ CEO.....

We are now only a week away from welcoming our Special Olympics friends from across the Tasman to join us for 3 days of outstanding competition in swimming and athletics in Hamilton.  The Waikato community has been hugely supportive and we are so fortunate to have a number of key corporates on board to support this event including Datacom Midlands, Ricoh and Whittakers Chocolates. 
This event has shown that under our Special Olympics International rules, individual Accredited Programmes have the flexibility to run competitions that befit the nuances of their local communities.  In my view this makes our global community even stronger.  It also allows athletes and coaches to view best practice and new competition techniques that they can use as part of their continuous improvement processes.  We certainly found this when we went to Newcastle in 2014 as we picked up a lot of ideas from the Australians that we have used in our programme development. 

Equally we have had useful feedback from the Australian coaches during the planning phase of this event.  An example of this is that Special Olympics Australia division their athletes by gender first, then age and finally by ability.  In New Zealand, we division by gender and then ability.  We did review this feedback in our planning process and agreed that it seemed much fairer to look at equitable ability rather than equitable ages particularly given the smaller number of competitors in some events and the fact that we are offering a developmental division for the very first time. 

The key for us is to offer meaningful competition and we believe that this structure will deliver against this, while still complying with Special Olympics philosophy of fair play, consistency and sportsmanship for everyone.  Also in New Zealand we do not know the event schedule until the athletes have been formally entered.  This is because we may need to change events if we do not have a minimum of 3 athletes in a race as per the rules. In reality this did happen (many times!) as we have had to make many changes to the schedule in our endeavours to accommodate all requirements.  Thank you to the sport development team for your incredible patience in pulling together an amazing schedule of events!
We are all very excited about this forthcoming event and cannot wait for the competition to begin.  Safe travels and we looking forward to seeing in Hamilton next Thursday night! - Kathy Gibson           
Enforcement of Maximum Effort Violation (MEV) Policy

Maximum Effort Violations (MEV) will not be enforced for any “Straight Finals” races or in the top Division of any events, both on the track and in the pool. Athletes who are disqualified for MEV will be awarded a Participation Ribbon as well as a Certificate of Achievement in recognition of their achieving a Personal Best Time.

And as per SOI 2016 Swimming sports rules, an athlete who exceeds a time of 25 percent better than the time recorded for divisioning or a reported time shall be disqualified. This applies to the 25M freestyle race, 25M flotation race (in our case in NZ, the 25M Kickboard) , 4 x 25M freestyle relay and shorter distance events. 
Helpful Hints!

We are excited to have a number of new team Managers and Coaches attending their first major event at this year's Tournament! The following list is a guide on things you need to think about bringing with you as well as systems and processes you need to put in place to make it an enjoyable one for you and your team members.

  • Ensure copies of your athletes medicals are securely held by the appropriate Head Coaches, so that they can be easily accessed if required.
  • All teams need to ensure that they stop at the Distinction Hotel on their arrival, to check in and collect their Team Packs, pre-ordered merchandise, etc.
Remember, even if you are not staying at the Distinction you still need to call in to collect your pack as it contains important information. Please note that only the Club/State Team Managers are required to check-in on their team's behalf.
  • Bring your own copy of your Rooming List.
  • Small bottles of hand sanitiser which everyone should be encouraged to use prior to eating. Make sure your team members are aware that at each Dining Hall, ALL team members must use the hand sanitiser on entry. 
  • A copy of the TTT Coaches Tips for your sport.
  • A permanent marker pen to name the drink bottles provided by the GOC.
Swimming Coaches
  •  A copy of the latest 2016 Special Olympics Swimming Sports Rules (to ensure you quote the correct Rule Number in case of lodging a Protest.
  • Black vivid marker (for recording your swimmers Race “Bib” numbers and Exception Codes.
  • Highlighter Pen so that you can highlight your athletes in the programme.
  • Your own copy of your Entry Forms (and if necessary any subsequent communications around changed events).
Athletics Coaches
  • A copy of the latest 2016 Special Olympics Athletics Sports Rules (to ensure you quote the correct Rule Number in case of lodging a Protest.
  • A good hat to provide protection from the hot sun that we have ordered from the weather gods for the event!
  • Sun block (while generic sunblock will be provided by the Games Organisers, if your athlete/s needs a special sun block they should ensure they pack this in their bags each day). 
  • Highlighter pen so that you can highlight your athletes in the programme. 
  • Your own copy of your Entry Forms (and if necessary any subsequent communications around changed events).
From Aussie Chris
Hey everyone in New Zealand my name is Christopher Bunton and I will be competing in swimming at the Trans Tasman Tournament.  

All my training is nearly complete. I have only two more training sessions to go. I feel very happy and enthusiastic because I have a lot of positive powerful energy that drives me to be part of a great team full of big dreams and lots of excitement, hope and honor. 

We are going to bring our joy, hope and positive energy to New Zealand. We are very delighted to be part of a great tournament filled full of cheers, good humor, self-confidence and the sports we are skilled in. 
You can meet Chris in Keeping Up with Chris by Attitude Live.
REMINDER - Registration and collection of shirts

Volunteers: All volunteers will be able to pick up their volunteer pack on one of our two volunteer training sessions. This will include their handbook and a t-shirt.

Officials: Official shirts for the event will be available for collection from The Distinction Hotel on Thursday 24th November during registration. Those officials that can't collect their shirts at this time must collect them from the sporting venues the following day.

Global Messengers: All Global Messenger Shirts will be clearly labelled and put into your Team/State Team Pack for collection by your team manager at registration on Thursday 24th November.

Contact Shelby Wilson with any enquiries.
Banner Competition!

Don't forget our banner competition! We can't wait to see your creations!

We will have a panel of judges who will check out all the banners on display over the course of the tournament, three prizes will be awarded to those entries that show their chosen sport and their team spirit the best! Maximum size should be 2 metres.  

Contact Shelby Wilson with any enquiries.
Wireless Internet
Wireless Update:
For those teams staying at College Hall, please note that two complimentary WiFi passes will be allocated to each Team Manager who can distribute as they see fit, these will be included in the registration packs. If additional passes are needed they can be purchased.

Distinction Hotel provides complimentary WiFi for all in house guests. Please contact reception for an access code.
Parking - UPDATE
College Hall
All parking on campus at College Hall will now be complimentary.

Distinction Hotel
There is also ample parking at the Distinction Hotel.
Accommodation update

Distinction Hotel
If you’re staying at the Distinction Hotel, you may want to pack a small torch for visits to the toilet in the middle of the night. There is a noisy fan that turns on when you turn the bathroom light on!
College Hall
If you’re staying at College Hall, there will be notices and house rules explained at dinner time on Thursday. Here are couple to let you know about ahead of time:

Please make sure your team all know to take their keys with them when they go to the toilet at night as their door will lock behind them and we don’t want anyone locked out! Room keys can be attached to credentials with a handy clip. There will be a master key in each building, but we don’t want to wake the key holders up if we can avoid it.

Parking on arrival:  Please don’t park in front of the marae as vehicles are often clamped there. There is short-term parking in front of the building for drop-off only.

Refer to the parking map here.



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