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News posted on Sunday 29th January, 2023

In memoriam: Bruce Tocker, Para athlete and Chef de Mission

Bruce Tocker at Parafed Waikato 50th anniversary event

Para athlete and NZ Paralympic Team Chef de Mission Bruce Tocker passed away on 26 January 2023, aged 71 years.

Born in 1951, Bruce competed as a Para athlete through the 1970s and early 80s in various Para sports including Para lawn bowls and wheelchair racing, winning several international medals.

Bruce also worked to promote disability sport across many roles. He helped found the Waikato Paraplegic & Physically Disabled Association in 1967 and stayed involved throughout his life. He was an executive member of Paralympics New Zealand (then called NZ Paraplegic & Physically Disabled Association) from 1975, becoming CEO in 1987. He was involved with the ParaFed National Sports Championships, the NZ Sports Assembly, the NZ Sports Foundation and the Hillary Commission.

Bruce was Assistant Chef de Mission to the NZ Paralympic Team in the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games and Chef de Mission in the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games. Bruce is in the full length documentary film “Triumph of the Human Spirit” which is about the NZ Paralympic Team at Atlanta 1996.

PNZ awarded Bruce the Paralympics New Zealand Order of Merit for outstanding service to the organisation and Paralympic sport in 2011.

Our thoughts are with Bruce’s family and friends.

There is a video recording of Bruce’s funeral for those who missed it.

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