Outward Bound Athlete Leadership Training

by Special Olympics New Zealand

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  • Special Olympics New Zealand partnered Outward Bound to co-design a course for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • The course was 8 days and focused on what it means to be a great leader.
  • The participating athletes were challenged physically and mentally through activities like high ropes, sailing and solos in the bush.



  • “The Special Olympics athlete leadership programme has an inspiring curriculum that Outward Bound supports by offering real life leadership experiences. It’s also a chance for us to ‘give back’ to students who are very active in their communities.” – Kelly Hamilton, Outward Bound Course Design Manager


  • 12 athletes participated in the course.
  • “I love meeting new people and making friends and I made lots at Outward Bound. I also learned new skills such as sailing and Waka Ama, which I really enjoyed.” – Chrissa Pearce, Special Olympics athlete
  • The success of the course led to Outward Bound partnering with Special Olympics New Zealand again, to run another course in 2022.

What we learnt:

  • Carolyn Young, Special Olympics New Zealand CEO, says Outward Bound’s ethos of ‘There is more in you’ reflects the spirit of Special Olympics athletes. “Our athlete oath is ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.’ Our athlete leaders from all over Aotearoa embody that spirit and we are delighted this course provided them with skills, achievements and memories that they have brought back to inspire their Special Olympics whanau and communities.”


Highlights video
Outward Bound New Zealand Annual Report (2021)