Rachell graduates as a Global Messenger



After a year-long training programme and four coaching workshops later, Rachell Prestidge has graduated from the Global Messenger class for the Special Olympics New Zealand.

The Franklin resident was one of the eight selected as a Global Messenger last year and proudly represents the Counties Manukau region.
The key focus of the programme is to equip messengers with the skills and confidence to take on the leadership role of ambassador.
The students are also empowered to speak out on behalf of their fellow athletes and raise awareness of Special Olympics within their communities.
The class of 2015 travelled to Wellington last Thursday for their graduating ceremony, which was in the West Foyer of the Beehive.
Hosted by Special Olympics Chair, and MP for Rangitikei, Ian McKelvie, the ceremony was described as a celebration for the athletes’ achievements and allowed them to put into practice the skills they had learnt and developed during their training.
All of the messengers were assigned roles for the day, with Rachell designated to give a speech on behalf of her class in front of 50 representatives, which included parents and regional MPs.
For Rachell, the highlight of becoming a Global Messenger was travelling to Wellington by herself and gaining the confidence to be able to meet new people, which included her fellow classmates.
“The global messengers programme is about putting on a proud face and strong voice forward for Special Olympics New Zealand,” explained Rachell.
“I learnt so much, which included speech writing, voice pitch and good eye contact, and I also learnt a lot about myself. I am really looking forward to spreading the word about Special Olympics and to share my journey so far.”
Since completing her training, Rachell will now help Special Olympics increase awareness and understanding for people with intellectual disabilities within the Counties Manukau region. Her role will also involve her speaking on behalf of fellow athletes, to help her clubs recruit new athletes and volunteers, and actively take part in fundraising ventures.
The former Tuakau College student had a stroke nine years ago and spent two months in hospital learning to speak again.
She joined the Special Olympics four years ago and regularly trains with the Counties swim team, and volunteers her time at the Palms Retirement Village and the Pukekohe Library.
Photo by: Inspire Photography

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