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News posted on Wednesday 10th January, 2024

In memoriam: Para swimming classifier and swim coach Sandra Blewett MBE

head and shoulders portrait of smiling pakeha woman in her 70s with short thick grey hair

PNZ Order of Merit recipient, Para swimming classifier and swim coach Sandra Blewett MBE passed away peacefully on 1 January 2024. Sandra was 74 years old.

Sandra contributed her skills selflessly for five decades as an advanced swimming instructor and coach for swimmers of all abilities, including many Para swimmers. She was also an impressive athlete in her own right, having swum over 56 marathon swims around the world. The talented long-distance swimmer was awarded an MBE in 1992 for services to marathon swimming.

Sandra contributed to the development of Para sport in New Zealand for over 25 years in many roles. She served as the NZ Para swimming classifier from 1996 to 2022. She was the Executive Director for Parafed Auckland (now Disability Sport Auckland) from 1998 to 2003. Further to this, she was a Paralympics New Zealand Board member from 2001 to 2008. In 2022, Paralympics New Zealand awarded Sandra the PNZ Order of Merit for outstanding service to Paralympics New Zealand and Para sport in New Zealand.

Sandra will be sadly missed by her many friends within the Paralympic Movement. Our thoughts are with Sandra’s brother Rick, sister Chrissie, and their children.

A private service will be held for Sandra. Comments can be left via Sandra’s obituary.

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