Regular COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) update. Last updated 5 May 2020.

Updated: May 4

Our country is now in alert level 3. Special Olympics New Zealand (SONZ) training and events will not occur until we reach alert level 1.


It is important we do our very best to look after the health of our athletes, volunteers and staff. Many athletes and volunteers in our community are at higher risk of COVID-19 compared to the rest of the population.


SONZ kapa (team) is still active and everyone is continuing to work from their home office.


We continue to consult with Special Olympics International, Sport New Zealand and all our clubs to help us decide what's best for our organisation.


We encourage you to continue your awesome work reaching out to others in the SONZ community and staying connected.


We also encourage you to get in touch with our staff anytime if you have a question, idea or suggestion.


The latest Ministry of Health information and guidance can be found here: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus


When will we return to training and events?


Training and events will be back on when we are at alert level 1. Below is a table showing what Special Olympics New Zealand activities can occur at each alert level:

SONZ Alert Level and Activity Guide (PDF here)


Facebook Live Q & A with Carolyn Young, Special Olympics New Zealand CEO


On Thursday 23 April at 3pm we held a Facebook Live question and answer session with our CEO, Carolyn Young. Check it out below:


Facebook Live with Jemma Drake (top left), Carolyn Young (top right) and Helen Ferguson (bottom).


The next Facebook live Q & A will be on Thursday 7 May 2020 at 3pm.


Club update summary and recording — 4 May 2020


We held another video call with all clubs on 4 May 2020 to update everyone and give people a chance to ask questions.


These meetings are open to all volunteers and coaches to attend.


Here are some key takeaways from the meeting:


  1. We're continuing to work hard to ensure as smooth a transition as possible when our training is able to restart at level 1.

  2. Work is ongoing on the return to activity. We're still scheduled to restart training at level 1. In the next week, we'll circulate further information about the transition to competition.

  3. Hygiene protocols are drafted and will be available to view today.

  4. National Summer Games update clarifies the timing and costs information we have so far.

  5. Let's make sure we look after ourselves and each other.

  6. Thank you to everyone for their support and understanding during this evolving situation.


The full meeting recording is below:



Your wellbeing


We hope you’re managing to stay well — both physically and mentally — during this tough time. We're continuing to add resources to the Healthy at Home page to help fuel your creativity!


We know our athletes will be struggling with the change in routine and lack of connection to their friends.


We encourage athletes, coaches and volunteers to stay connected with each other.

  • Athlete Leaders: please continue to connect with other athletes in your clubs and keep up your awesome work spreading positivity.

  • Get out of the house, go for a walk and do exercise at home or wherever you are! We’ll stay connected through social media with positive posts and fun ideas to stay happy and healthy while we can’t get to our training and events. We’re all in this together.

  • Our new health ambassadors are producing videos: we’ll post these on social media and our website so you can follow along with their tips wherever you are.

  • Check out the Fit5 guide for lots of exercises and health tips.

  • Reach out to us if you need help or support. We’re still all here for each other even when we aren’t in the same location.

  • Message us on social media or add the hasthags #SONZPositivity and/or #Fit5 with your health tips and positivity for us to share with our community!

  • To keep up to date on the latest developments about COVID-19, there is a website with good, clear information: covid19.govt.nz

It's more important than ever to stay connected. Call and text each other, and reach out to SONZ and the wider community on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram.


Kia kaha, kia manawanui. Stay strong and remain steadfast 💪💞

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