Three people in wheelchairs, playing the game of Boccia

One of three projects within the PNZ Strengthen and Adapt Plan, “Collectively Stronger Together” aims to drive national and regional collaboration to achieve organisational role clarity, strategic alignment, and capitalise on shared expertise to improve operating approaches and deliver on shared initiatives that strengthen, align and enhance community Para sport outcomes across New Zealand.

What will be delivered?

This project has three components designed to better understand the Para sport landscape and increase collaboration and regional alignment:

  1. Mapping the landscape
  2. Regional Para sport pilots
  3. Strategic partnership and shared initiatives.

Mapping the Para sport landscape

  • The Para Sport Community Manager will build sector relationships while mapping the Para sport landscape. 
  • The primary focus of this role will be to engage with Parafed or similar organisations and other community partners and champions. 
  • Further to this, the role will engage with other national disability organisations, Parafed or similar organisations, NSOs and RSTs to capture details of the Para sport programmes and opportunities delivered by organisations for disabled New Zealanders of all ages. 

Regional Para sport pilots

  • PNZ will collaboratively stage regional community Para sport pilots across 3 regions and 3 Para sports in 2023, 2024 and 2025. The pilots will provide investment into NSOs and Parafeds or similar organisations to collaboratively develop untapped regional community Para sport opportunities whilst also enhancing existing opportunities.
  • The Para Sport Community Manager will support all three pilots working alongside regional partners, NSOs/RSOs, NDSOs to co-design the pilots ensuring operational expertise in place to support each pilot partner. The three pilots to strengthen the regional delivery system for Para sport will be consecutively implemented, one per year, to allow learnings to be transferred from one pilot to another to capitalise on improvement opportunities 
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the pilots will take place throughout and a framework outlining best practice will be used to assist the co-design and development of future community Para sport partnerships and programmes.
  • A regional community Para sport pilot will take place with Boccia New Zealand beginning in 2022.
  • PNZ is seeking to work with one National Sports Organisation (NSO) that is more established in Para sport and another NSO that is less established in Para sport delivery, along with their RSOs/clubs. An application process took place for all NSO members to apply to partner in the delivery of a regional community Para sport pilot. More information about this process is available here. Applications closed in December 2022, with NSOs to be selected and informed in early 2023.

Building strategic partnership and areas of alignment between PNZ and Parafed organisations

  • This is seen as integral to the success of this project. Working to co-design a shared vision and develop strategic alignments is a key component to achieving a stronger Para sport system. Service level agreements, and regular workshops will underpin the outcome – Collectively Stronger Together. 
  • Facilitate PNZ and Parafed or similar organisations shared visioning and strategic priority alignment workshop. 
  • Co-design of shared community Para sport initiatives and development of service level agreements. 
  • Shared implementation, measurement and evaluation of agreed community Para sport initiatives. 
  • Facilitate PNZ and Parafed or similar organisations workshop to co-evaluate progress, further develop trusted relationships, and review strategic priorities. 

What has been achieved so far?

October 2022

  • During the period between July and October 2022, the PNZ Para Sport Community Manager undertook a series of stakeholder consultations to capture details of the Para sport programmes and opportunities delivered by organisations for disabled New Zealanders of all ages. This involved building relationships and engaging with representatives from 13 Parafeds or similar organisations, National Disability Sport Organisations (NDSOs), National Sports Organisations (NSOs) and Regional Sports Trusts (RSTs) where relevant. PNZ mapped this information to build a nationwide view of the community Para sport offering.
  • As a result of the community Para sport mapping exercise, PNZ discovered that 20 out of 28 Para sports on the Paralympic Games programme had been experienced in some form across New Zealand. 6 out of the 14 additional Para sports that are IPC recognised International Sport Federations have been experienced in some form across New Zealand. The Para sport experiences encompass opportunities delivered by a mixture of inclusive sports clubs, Parafeds and similar organisations. From over 150 Para sport opportunities identified around the country, close to a quarter of those were considered regular (weekly) offerings. 

December 2022

  • A PNZ Service Delivery Agreement for a regional community Para sport pilot with Boccia New Zealand, Disability Sport & Recreation Hawkes Bay, Parafed Manawatu, and Parafed Taranaki is underway beginning 1 December 2022. The collective parties have established equipment and activation needs for each region, and will consider a network of agencies and service providers to connect with, and have begun scoping design requirements for a community Boccia resource. A 6-week Boccia programme will commence in the regions in May 2023.
  • An inaugural PNZ Community Para Sport workshop has taken place in Auckland bringing together 22 representatives from 13 regions to identify new opportunities to work together. This also included a presentation of the mapping report of the community Para sport landscape, PNZ’s Strategic Plan, linking into the development of PNZ’s philosophy on community Para sport: “Thriving community Para sport environments that foster new beginnings, sense of belonging, opportunities for achievement and continuous pathways for disabled people”. Following the strategic overview, discussions moved into defining PNZ’s role and responsibilities within community Para sport. In order to shift ideas discussed into action, some Themes and Initiative Areas were developed along with suggested steps to move forward.
  • A working group consisting of governance and operations representative, from Parafeds and similar organisations at the workshop, has been formed to follow up on and further develop the Initiative Areas in 2023.

February 2023

  • Four volunteers representing Parafeds (or similar organisations) met for the first time in February as a Collectively Stronger Together Working Group and have developed a Terms of Reference for the Group. Whilst further exploration, development and co-design of shared initiatives is expected to take place, the Group agreed to generate a resource sharing link for Community Para Sport topics, to encourage Parafed members to collaborate and share templates, knowledge, success stories etc online.
  • The co-design of a regional community Para sport pilot with Boccia New Zealand, Disability Sport & Recreation Hawkes Bay, Parafed Manawatu, and Parafed Taranaki is progressing well, whereby a newly designed community Boccia resource and Boccia equipment sets are being distributed to each region. A trial run of skill and game activities utilising the resource and equipment took place with the help of seasoned Boccia players and support persons in Christchurch. Valuable feedback from the session as well as from individual members of the Parafeds (or similar organisations) in each region have enabled the pilot partners to continue refining components of the resource and determine the programme’s marketing design. Pilot partners have begun engaging with local community organisations, tertiary institutions, polytechnics or vocational education providers to promote Boccia activator training and education planned for April 2023, and is on track to recruit participants and begin programme delivery in May 2023.

April 2023

  • The Collectively Stronger Together Working Group meetings have continued to take place on a monthly basis, now with five volunteers representing Parafeds (or similar organisations). The Group is currently exploring the possibility of engaging expert personnel in sponsorships and/or marketing and communications that provide shared benefits to Community Para Sport and Parafeds (or similar organisations).
  • Gotcha Boccia, the first regional community Para sport pilot with Boccia New Zealand, Disability Sport & Recreation Hawkes Bay, Parafed Manawatu, and Parafed Taranaki is officially launched. This 6-week community Boccia programme will take place in Taranaki starting on 10 May, Manawatu starting on 18 May, and Hawkes bay starting in Term 3.
  • PNZ has confirmed a regional community Para athletics pilot with Athletics New Zealand, Parafed Gisborne, Athletics Hawkes Bay Gisborne, Parafed Northland, Athletics Whangarei, Inclusive Activity Murihiku and Athletics Southland. The organisations will collaborate and co-design an 8-week Para athletics programme to take place in the regions of Gisborne, Northland, and Southland in October 2023. PNZ has also announced a regional community Para table tennis pilot to be staged in Auckland, Canterbury, Waikato in 2024, with more details to follow.
A visually impaired skier following their guide on the mountain
Photo credit: Simon Darby