Wellingtonian, New World Newtown team member, and now Special Olympian Matthew Di Liva took his sporting ambitions to new heights at the Special Olympics Worlds Games in Berlin last month.
Running from June 17th to the 25th, the Special Olympics World Games is the world's largest inclusive sporting event and brings together over 6000 athletes from 126 countries to compete in 26 different sports.
Representing New Zealand as part of the 39-strong contingent, Matthew showcased his remarkable talent in track and field athletics, claiming a silver medal in the long jump, a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter sprint and helping secure Team NZ's third-place victory in the 4x100m relay race.
Mark Troup Paul, owner-operator of New World Newtown, expressed his excitement for Matthew’s achievements.
"The entire store is immensely proud of Matthew, and we’re all super excited to have a medal-winning Olympian on our team,” said Paul.
Initially employed part-time to assist with trolley management, Matthew's superb work ethic caught the attention of Mark, who promoted him to a full-time team member, allowing him to pursue his athletic dreams while still excelling in his professional endeavours.
“Over the past five years, Matthew has become an integral member of our New World Newtown family, dedicating himself to his role here and his training.”
Paul continued that Matthew’s success showcased his tenacity and determination and exemplified the supportive environment fostered here at New World Newtown. He added that the team all believe in rallying behind the dreams of its team members and providing unwavering support.
As Matthew Di Liva returns to Wellington, the entire New World Newtown team and many members of the South Wellington community eagerly await his arrival.
“We’ve got quite the party planned for his return.”