Volunteer at the 2013 Special Olympics

Do you want to use your SLS skills and experience for something special? Register now to volunteer at the 2013 Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games.

The 2013 Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games will be held in Newcastle from 30 November - 7 December.

Athletes from 32 countries totaling over 2500 participants, 5000 volunteers and their families and medical staff will descend on the Hunter for this major event.

Hunter Branch, named Branch of the Year at the 2013 Stramit Surf Life Saving NSW Awards of Excellence, will be hosting a Beach Experience event. This will attract thousands of competitors and their families, many of whom will be coming to the beach for the first time in their lives.

President of Hunter Branch, Henry Scruton, is excited about the event.

"This will be a great opportunity to show off Aussie beach culture to people from all over the world. We will be providing a run down of beach safety and giving everyone a true Aussie experience by throwing a barbecue," said Scruton.

Members of Hunter Surf Life Saving Saving Clubs are getting behind the initiative and volunteering on the day.

Hannah Walton, of Merewether SLSC is 23 years old and has been volunteering at the Special Olympics alongside her mother Susan and her father Evan since she was eleven.

Susan is the Director of the Opening Eyes program, developed as part of the Healthy Athlete Program. This year, Hannah and Susan with her team of volunteer Optometrists hope to test as many of the athletes as possible during the week of sports. Evan (a Life Member of Merewether) is the coordinator of the Healthy Athletes Program SOAPG (Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games) with screenings covering not just eyes, but also podiatry, audiometry and dentistry.

"I started volunteering from a young age and I am hooked. The athletes walk around with a smile on their face, no matter what the issue and the friendships they form, whether they win or lose puts a smile on mine. The Special Olympics is such a vibrant place and an extremely worthwhile experience. I would encourage everyone to get involved," said Hannah.

For further information and to register visit the Special Olympics Australia website.

Thu 8 Aug 2013