All 18 Paralympians were acknowledged and celebrated and joined an elite group of Paralympians that have now received their official ‘numbered’ Paralympic pin and certificate. This group now totals 44 following the Celebration Project events in Auckland and Whangarei throughout May. The official Paralympic ‘number’ is a unique number that is bestowed only once a Paralympian has competed at their first Paralympic Games. Athletes are then ordered alphabetically within each Paralympic Games.
A blind Hamilton man is on a mission to grow the sport of goalball, aided by a world-first inflatable goal developed by New Zealand company Packaworld International. Steve Donnelly is the captain of Waikato Goalball Club and well known within the blind and low vision community for his sporting exploits as a New Zealand BlindCaps cricket player. The 47-year old is keen to raise awareness of goalball – a popular sport at the Paralympics – but has struggled to introduce people to the sport because of a lack of local facilities with goals.
Blind Sport New Zealand (BSNZ) have partnered with the Halberg Foundation to create a nine-week multi-sport programme for blind and low vision youth in the Auckland region. This programme, designed for youth aged 5-21 years, kicks off at the end of next month and will run through until the middle of August. The programme has been designed to develop participants’ physical literacy skills and confidence while building new friendships and introducing them to a wide range of fun and exciting sports.
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) has kicked off the beginning of their 12-month Celebration Project in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The Celebration Project will run in 12 cities and towns throughout New Zealand. It will recognise and celebrate the achievements of the 209 Paralympians who have competed for New Zealand since the first Paralympic Games in Tel Aviv in 1968.