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News posted on Friday 27th May, 2022

Leadership position for Paralympian Michael Johnson as Paralympics New Zealand grows talent with five new roles

Michael Johnson - Team Selection to Tokyo 2020 NZ Paralympic Team

Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) announces five recent appointments, further strengthening its ability to lead and grow Para sport in New Zealand.

Paralympian Michael Johnson appointed PNZ Shooting Para Sport Lead

Paralympian #148 Michael Johnson will lead and manage the PNZ Shooting Para Sport programme as PNZ Shooting Para Sport Lead.

Michael can’t wait to get started:

“Shooting Para sport is fantastic, and I can’t wait to give more people a chance to give it a go. My goal is to grow and develop Shooting Para sport, so we see more people participating both at club level and at international competitions and Paralympic Games.”

Michael will also develop the Shooting Para sport strategy, engaging with stakeholders in its implementation. A big question ahead for the Para sport is the possibility of integration into the New Zealand Shooting Federation, and Michael will work to scope this option.

Five-time Paralympian Michael received a spinal cord injury in a motor accident aged 22, resulting in tetraplegia. Michael continues to be a high performance athlete in our Shooting Para sport programme with his goal to be selected for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

PNZ CE Fiona Allan says:

“We are thrilled to be able to continue to utilise the expertise, skills, passion, and enthusiasm Michael has for Shooting Para sport and specifically with Para athletes and coaches and we look forward to working with Michael in this new role.

“This is one of a number of great developments at PNZ which will result in more disabled people involved in Para sport and supported along the pathway, transforming lives through Para sport.”

PNZ’s Strategic Plan 2032, launched mid-2021, shifts the organisation toward social change goals in addition to Para sport-related outcomes. The PNZ Strengthen and Adapt Plan aims to strengthen, align, and enhance the Para sport system in New Zealand, through improved national and regional collaboration. This will result in more disabled people involved in Para sport and supported along the pathway. The new roles reflect the organisation’s commitment to this important work.

Marianne Loh appointed PNZ Para Sport Community Manager

Marianne Loh has been appointed as PNZ Para Sport Community Manager. She will commence on 7 June 2022. This role aims to drive national and regional collaboration to achieve organisational role clarity, strategic alignment. Marianne will lead PNZ’s community Para sport plan. This covers increasing shared expertise, improving operating approaches and delivering on shared initiatives that strengthen, align and enhance community Para sport outcomes across New Zealand including regional Para sport pilots.

Marianne has extensive sporting experience across various capacities and countries, from volunteering at grassroots, competing, coaching, managing and mentoring elite level athletes to her current role in a sport administration and leadership capacity. She led the implementation of Waikato Badminton’s renewed strategic plan and its day-to-day operations as Chief Executive. Prior to this Marianne led the development of Australia’s Para badminton programme. Furthermore, she increased national participation and membership levels for Badminton Australia by over 30% within a 3-year period.

Dale MacDonald appointed PNZ Para Sport Pathway Manager

Dale MacDonald at Track Nationals
Dale MacDonald at Track Nationals. Photo credit: James Jubb.

Dale MacDonald has been appointed PNZ Para Sport Pathway Manager. Previously PNZ Programme and Para Cycling Development Coordinator, in her new role Dale provides strategic advice and operational support to the development of Para Sport Performance Pathways strategies and programmes within PNZ and PNZ member organisations. A key outcome is to develop and improve the effectiveness of the performance pathways in Para sport to successfully identify, develop, support and progress Para athletes to achieve medal winning performances at international events and Paralympic Games.

Dale spent many years juggling work as a lawyer and racing professionally as a cyclist in Europe and America. Following her racing career she decided to give back to the world of sport. Whilst working in Development Co-ordination for Cycling Southland, she became committed to Para sport. From 2014 to 2017 she worked as the Development Co-ordinator for the PNZ Para Cycling Programme before having two years out with her two young sons. She re-joined the PNZ family part time in March 2019 working across a variety of areas and Para sports. Dale is passionate about assisting and supporting Para athletes, coaches and organisations.

Jenni Keeley appointed PNZ Education Lead

Portrait photo of Jenni Keeley

Jenni Keeley has been appointed as PNZ Education Lead. She is leading the pilot of the I’mPOSSIBLE Education and Para Sport Champions programmes. These take place within 20 primary/intermediate schools across New Zealand.

Jenni has over 20 years of teaching experience and last year was an Across School Lead for Te Ara Whetu Kahui Ako, on leave from her role as Associate Principal at Beach Haven Primary School. Jenni is passionate about education. She is looking forward to the opportunity that the Education Lead role provides to work alongside others and lead an initiative that has the power to transform lives through an inclusive Para sport education programme.

Rachel Barr appointed Marketing Manager

PNZ has appointed Rachel Barr as Marketing Manager, part-time. In her role, Rachel will lead initiatives to grow Paralympics New Zealand and the NZ Paralympic Team brand awareness. Her work uses the inspirational power of the Paralympic Movement, Paralympians and Para athletes to build a fully inclusive New Zealand. This includes deepening and growing the PNZ supporter base, promoting participation in Para sport, promoting PNZ as a charity and maximising commercial outcomes.

Rachel was Marketing and Brand Manager at Netball NZ for 13 years. She brings extensive experience working across marketing, commercial and events.  In 2021, she contracted to PNZ leading the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games marketing campaign. This involved developing the One Team, One Spirit brand positioning.

More information

For further information, go to

Find Strengthen and Adapt programme overview and latest updates here:

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