Mangere College’s thrilling Special Olympics debut

Eight students entered the Massey Park Stadium in Papakura on the 26 March, full of nerves and anxieties, in the school’s first year at the Special Olympics New Zealand Track and Field Event. With very little training, this was supposed to only be a “look and see” year.

Two hours in  – and Malia Tu’ungafasi 11BF wins the 50 metre sprint, Erana Heta 9FI places 3rd and Laura Wong-Tung 10TH captures 5th.

The boy’s 4 x 100 metre relay saw WayneToa 11PS, Elliot Talaepa 12HS, Faapiano Vaimili 11BF and Aiiu Munokoa 10CL hit the track. The long wait between Heats only served to escalate their nerves, but 59.18 seconds later – Mangere College takes the Heat. Then came the nerve wrecking wait for the overall results and our boys take 2nd place, a few milliseconds behind Papakura High School  – the school to beat.

Results for the Boys 100 metre sprint:

Faapiano Vaimili – 1st Place Aiiu Munokoa – 2nd Place Wayne Toa – 3rd Place Elliot Talaepa – 3rd Place
In Division 4 of the 100 metre sprint, Jesse Apineru of 9FI stepped onto the track for the first time. In his thrilling debut, Jesse bolted across the start line but half way down the track – his laces came undone and caused him to swerve into the other lanes ultimately giving him 4th Place.

There were calls from both officials and other schools for Mangere College to return next year….and return we shall.

“Let Me Win. But If I Cannot, Let Me Be Brave in the Attempt”

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