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Grace Payne, 2023 Global Athlete Congress Participant

Grace Payne

2023 Global Athlete Congress Participant

Grace Payne is an athlete from Special Olympics New Zealand in the Asia Pacific Region. Grace participates in powerlifting and basketball. She has been involved in Special Olympics since 2008 when she joined the program at her school. In 2010 Grace began participating in her local Special Olympics club.

Grace’s favorite part about Special Olympics is getting to meet new people from all over and seeing them blossom into amazing people.

Grace is excited for the congress in Berlin. She is looking forward to seeing everyone’s project ideas. She is also excited for the opportunity to meet more people, especially those who she has met online but not yet in person.

Grace is employed as a support worker as well as a co-coach for adaptive athlete classes at Fortitude gym. When Grace isn’t working or competing, she enjoys tie dying clothes and hanging out with her puppy.

Grace says that being an athlete leader means that she is able to help amplify other people’s voices when they struggle to use theirs. She says that being an athlete leader also means working together with all people to make the world more inclusive.

Project Description

Grace’s project plan is to provide a workshop to four schools about Special Olympics, Inclusion, and Unified Leadership. The goal is to educate students about Special Olympics in hopes that they will become volunteers and or unified partners. This project could be a pilot for future athlete leader driven workshops around New Zealand which would grow unified leadership and inclusion. The project is aimed at growing the number of athletes in meaningful leadership roles inside of Special Olympics, as well as growing inclusion and understanding of the leadership potential people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities have, creating more inclusive environments, and developing unified leaders.

Special Olympics Asia Pacific 2023 Global Congress Participants


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