Special Olympics Flame of Hope burns into Hamilton for Summer Games

Waikato District police will join some of the region’s Special Olympics athletes on Thursday 8 December to carry the Special Olympics Flame of Hope for the final time and celebrate the start of the Summer Games.

Athletes, supporters, Police and some police dogs will meet and assemble at Hamilton Central Police Station, 12 Anzac Parade at 9.45am and then walk across Garden Place in the Hamilton CBD to Civic Square to be greeted by Mayor Paula Southgate.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) has seen torches relayed from each end of New Zealand to Hamilton – the venue for the 2022 Special Olympics National Summer Games.

“The support of the New Zealand Police and other service personnel is hugely valued and we look forward to taking to the streets with them as we move throughout the country and start the games officially,” Special Olympics chief executive Carolyn Young says.

“The LETR is one of the highlights of major Special Olympics events, and this year we are excited that the torches will travel to regions and clubs taking part in the National Summer Games.”

Inspector Mark Harrison, of Palmerston North Police, is Director of LETR NZ.

“Once again we are delighted to be able to support the build-up to the National Summer Games. Law enforcement staff are proud to run alongside the athletes through our communities as the Flame of Hope makes its way to the Games in Hamilton.

“The Flame represents so much of what policing is about – it stands for hope, courage, opportunity, inspiration and equality,” Harrison added.

Wellington athletes ran the torch last weekend and you can read about it here: A symbol of hope

About 1400 athletes from across Aotearoa are travelling to Hamilton to compete in the Special Olympics Summer Games from 8-12 December 2022. Held every four years, the Special Olympics New Zealand National Summer Games is the largest event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in New Zealand.

Similar in style to the Olympic torch relay, the LETR is a series of runs that raise awareness for the Special Olympics movement.

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