Q: With so many other sport organisations and non for profits, why did you choose Special Olympics Australia?
Peter: Special Olympics offered an opportunity for our intellectually disabled son to participate in sport. My wife and I then became involved and began volunteering in a variety of roles. We have been involved in various service organisations and volunteering has become part of our lives many years ago.
Q: What is your favourite Special Olympics Sport? Or what sport did you play as a kid?
Peter: My favourite sport is Football. Our son Craig has played mainstream soccer since he was 5 years old and he now enjoys being part of a football team at his Special Olympics club. I have coached his teams for most of his time and am also the Special Olympics at his Club. I played soccer when I was a little younger and was also competing in athletics.
Q: Is there a particular moment, memory or achievement that stands out for you?
Peter: There have been lots of wonderful moments and memories. Just being able to see your own child, despite his disability, be able to compete in a sport he loves and to see him achieve and enjoy regular competition is very special.
We have also been lucky enough to see him compete for his country at World Games at both Winter and Summer World Games. Other magic moments are all associated with seeing athletes of all skill levels giving it their best and be amazed at what they can do.
Q: How has Special Olympics Australia impacted your life?
Peter: Special Olympics has given our son opportunities he would never have had. He loves sport and we love to support him in his endeavours to reach his best whilst having a great time. Our lives have been changed for the better through becoming involved in Special Olympics. Seeing what a difference sport can make to so many people is fantastic.
Q: What difference have you seen the Special Olympics movement make on athletes or family members lives?
Peter: I have seen many young people join our Special Olympics Club. They were shy and not sure about what sport to choose. In a very short period of time they became more outgoing and improved in their sport. Families became involved and long-lasting friendships are formed.
Q: What would you say to someone considering volunteering for Special Olympics Australia?
Peter: Don’t hesitate. If you are looking for a volunteering role that includes getting more back than you put in, Special Olympics is for you. Athletes of all ages and all abilities take part and you will get hooked and become part of their journey. Be prepared to smile a lot and watch others have a great time.
Q: What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
Peter: I spent 41 years working as a photographer at News Limited, mostly on the Sunday Telegraph.
Q: Where to from here, what’s next, what does the future look like for you?
Peter: More of the same. Special Olympics has been a big part of our lives and will continue to be through volunteering. My wife and I enjoy the camaraderie and the opportunity to give a little back to an organisation such as Special Olympics.
Thank you, Peter!
Download the Yoinki app today and sign up as a volunteer to be part of the inclusion revolution here at Special Olympics Australia