Posted on Wednesday 13th October, 2021

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Visa, Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner, today announced that Paralympic javelin thrower Holly Robinson selected Ronald McDonald House South Island to receive a USD 50,000 (NZD 70,000) donation from Visa.

To demonstrate that one good turn deserves another, Visa will make the USD 50,000 donation on behalf of Holly and her Olympic peer Brazilian skateboarder Rayssa Leal after both athletes received The Visa Award, a fan-voted award recognising inspirational moments away from the field of play at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Holly Robinson, Javelin – The Visa Award Winner, Paralympic Games

  • About Holly: New Zealand’s Holly Robinson, who took home gold in the women’s javelin F46 event, was recognised by fans for going out of her way to thank match officials and including them in her victory celebration.
  • Selected Charity: The mission ofRonald McDonald House South Island (New Zealand) is to create, find, and support programmes that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families.
  • In Her Words: “I have chosen a charity called Ronald McDonald House South Island, which helps many families across New Zealand and children going through the toughest times in their lives. I know many families personally who have benefitted from this charity, and I am very grateful that I am able to help them through this donation. Again, thank you so much to everybody who voted for me, it’s really special that I can get to help someone who helps so many.”

“We are so honoured and grateful to Holly for choosing Ronald McDonald House South Island as her charity of choice,” said Ronald McDonald House South Island chairman Jock Muir. “Holly showed great compassion during her time in Tokyo, something we treasure at Ronald McDonald House and she is a true inspiration to New Zealand”.

“The donation from Visa will go directly to support the families who stay at Ronald McDonald House South Island. When a family must travel to Christchurch or Invercargill for their Child’s medical treatment, nothing else should matter. This donation will help to relieve the financial and emotional burden so families can stay together and focus on what really matters – their child.”

“At the heart of the Paralympic Movement are four core values of determination, equality, inspiration and courage,” said IPC President Andrew Parsons. “In Tokyo, Holly Robinson not only showed all those elements to secure her first Paralympic gold medal, but she also displayed something else we hold dear in the Paralympic Movement and that is inclusion. The fact is sport does not take place at all without referees and officials and they were as central to our historic Games as anyone else, so it was fantastic to see Holly and her New Zealand teammates celebrate the role of the officials. And we must also thank Visa for developing The Visa Award that rewards the best of the values of sport, it is an excellent way to engage fans worldwide with the spirit of the Games.”

“As the world watched athletes compete without friends and family at their sides after a year-long delay that tested their resilience, they gave us the fortune of watching both record-breaking athletic performances and moments that transcended competition and nationality,” said Andrea Fairchild, senior vice president of global sponsorship marketing, Visa. “We are so proud to recognize Rayssa and Holly and their charities – thank you for uplifting us and reminding us that we are stronger together.”

The Visa Award

The Visa Award is a new accolade that celebrates uplifting moments from the Olympic and Paralympic Games that transcend competition and display qualities of friendship, inclusion, acceptance and courage. With 28 moments selected from across the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, The Visa Award gave fans from around the world the opportunity to vote for their favourite on the Tokyo 2020 FanZone platform. After celebrating summer sports athletes in Tokyo, The Visa Award will return for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

About Ronald McDonald House South Island

  • It costs $1.4 million annually to operate our facilities, this includes our 27-bedroom Christchurch House, and the Family Rooms in both Southland and Christchurch Hospitals. It costs $140 to provide one night of accommodation to a family in need.
  • Ronald McDonald House South Island provides free accommodation and support to families who must travel to Christchurch and Invercargill for their child’s medical treatment. By removing the stressors of everyday life, families can focus on what matters most – their child. For more information or to donate, visit www.rmhsi.org.nz