Australia ignites Flame of Hope for Intellectual Disability

December 04, 2012

Special Olympics Australia celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December with the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for the Special Olympics Australia National Junior Games.

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L to R: ALPs Athlete Allister Peek, Special Olympics Australia Board member Nigel Milan, Senator Jan McLucas, Athlete Corey Harber, LETR Garry Ballard , Senator Kate Lundy, Special Olympics Australia CEO Gill Stapleton, and Special Olympics Australia General Manager Alex McNeilly.

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Celebrating Unity, Choice, and Respect

Australian Federal Ministers Kate Lundy, Ministry for Sport, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas and Bill Shorten, Member for Maribyrnong, joined Law Enforcement Torch Run members, athletes, officials, families, supporters and volunteers at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. The torch was lit at Parliament House by 15 year old athlete Corey Harber, before making its way around Canberra landmarks, through communities to the opening ceremony in Newcastle.

“The Law Enforcement Torch Run is made up of runners from our dedicated police forces, Special Olympics athletes and volunteers.  They’re carrying the message of hope for everybody involved in the Special Olympics Australia Junior National Games, it’s a touching way to kick-off the games,” Senator Lundy said.

ALPs athlete Allister Peek demonstrated great leadership and advocacy skills when he was the official MC of the event at Parliament House, supported by Alex McNeilly and his mentor Murray Craze. Murray said: “through ALPs training, Allister is now studying to be an official sailing coach at Special Olympics and enjoys his role on the Special Olympics ACT board”.

Over 350 Australian junior athletes are competing in the third National Games. Held every four years, the Games gives an opportunity for athletes aged 7 – 15 to experience quality competition and the excitement of being part of a travelling team. This year’s Games are from 6 – 10th December.

To further support Australia’s message of inclusion, Senator Jan McLucas will join world leaders in Korea to speak at the Special Olympics Global Development Summit, on Ending the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities. The Summit is part of the Special Olympics World Winter Games PyeongChang in January 2013.

More on athlete Corey Harber
To cheer on the Australian Junior athletes and teams with a HERO GRAM message, visit
here.


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