Para Sport Collective cohort announced
- Paralympics New Zealand has announced the first cohort of 42 Para athletes and coaches for the Para Sport Collective.
- The Para Sport Collective is for those in the pre-High Performance stage of the Para sport pathway, where a need was uncovered for greater support and community.
- The cohort will participate in 3 national in-person camps, with the first camp next week, and bi-monthly virtual connections over the coming 12 months.
Twenty fabulous coaches and 22 phenomenal Para athletes have been selected for the first cohort of the Para Sport Collective.
Paralympics New Zealand set up the Para Sport Collective based on consultation with Para athletes and coaches. An opportunity was uncovered to better support pre-High Performance Para athletes and coaches. The need was for a like-minded community, which may not be available at locally or within a Para sport, as Para athletes and their coaches are dispersed around the country. The community and learning which the Para Sport Collective provides support and builds connections, confidence and knowledge.
One of the selected coaches, Steve O’Kane explained:
“I have coached in Para athletics for 5 years with athletes from 5 years to 52 years of age basically by myself. I have struggled to find information and guidance on all the challenges for my athletes, from training programmes, support services like physio, strength and conditioning, equipment support e.g., mechanics for optimising racing chairs, etc. The network provided by the Collective will be invaluable to myself and my athletes.”
The cohort of 42 individuals announced today represents a massive 14 of the 28 recognised Para sports, and participants’ hometowns range from Whangārei to Invercargill. They come together for the first-time next week (27-28 May) at AUT Millennium in Auckland for the first of three in-person camps. There, they will gain skills, share experiences and build relationships.
To be considered for the Collective, the Para athletes and coaches had to be nominated by their National Sport Organisation, based on meeting criteria such as demonstrating high performance potential. Each individual then submitted an application explaining why they wanted to be part of the Collective and their future sporting ambitions. The applications were reviewed and selections made by Paralympics New Zealand.
The Para Sport Collective is supported by ACC, with CE Megan Main sharing her passion for the project:
“Best of luck to these determined and talented individuals. Sport has the power to improve lives and minimise the impact of injury – something we believe in strongly at ACC. That’s why I’m so thrilled that ACC is supporting this pre-High Performance stage of their journey.”
The selected Para athletes and coaches include:
|Scott Palmer||Coach||Wanaka||Para alpine skiing|
|Steve O'Kane||Coach||Auckland||Para athletics|
|Chris Knight||Coach||Invercargill||Para athletics|
|Michelle Au||Coach||Auckland||Para badminton|
|Marianne Loh||Coach||Hamilton||Para badminton|
|Zac Franich||Coach||Auckland||Para canoe|
|Gavin Elmiger||Coach||Whangapar?oa||Para canoe|
|Jack Cooper||Coach||Cambridge||Para cycling|
|Jason Allen||Coach||Christchurch||Para cycling|
|Jody Hartstone||Coach||Raglan||Para equestrian|
|Ben Close||Coach||Christchurch||Para swimming|
|Lin Tozer||Coach||Palmerston North||Para swimming|
|Mark Page||Coach||Ng?ruaw?hia||Para table tennis|
|John Tuki||Coach||Takanini||Para table tennis|
|Rob Dallimore||Coach||Auckland||Para triathlon|
|Frank Schlaffmann||Coach||Auckland||Shooting Para Sport|
|David Dewhirst||Coach||Dunedin||Wheelchair rugby|
|Gavin Rolton||Coach||Waikanae||Wheelchair rugby|
|Rene Ruahe||Coach||Auckland||Wheelchair tennis|
|Alisha Mill||Para athlete||Christchurch||Boccia|
|Troy Robertson||Para athlete||Whang?rei||Boccia|
|Naqibullah Alizadeh||Para athlete||Auckland||Goalball|
|Jayden Glentworth||Para athlete||Palmerston North||Para alpine skiing|
|Jaden Movold||Para athlete||Auckland||Para athletics|
|Milly Marshall Kirkwood||Para athlete||Inglewood||Para athletics|
|Charli Gardiner-Hall||Para athlete||Waiuku||Para athletics|
|Corran Hanning||Para athlete||Wellington||Para athletics|
|Carrie Wilson||Para athlete||Christchurch||Para badminton|
|Siobhan Terry||Para athlete||Rotorua||Para cycling|
|Ben Westenberg||Para athlete||Tauranga||Para cycling|
|Louise Duncan||Para athlete||Levin||Para equestrian|
|James Haydon||Para athlete||Auckland||Para swimming|
|Millie Long||Para athlete||Christchurch||Para swimming|
|Rawiri Tristram-Brown||Para athlete||Levin||Para swimming|
|Guy Harrison||Para athlete||Napier||Para swimming|
|James Goulding||Para athlete||Auckland||Para table tennis|
|Keegan Jackson||Para athlete||Invercargill||Para table tennis|
|Kurt Peterson||Para athlete||Auckland||Para triathlon|
|Kiranjit Singh||Para athlete||Auckland||Shooting Para sport|
|Nathaniol Tairi||Para athlete||Auckland||Wheelchair rugby|
|Jacinta Richardson||Para athlete||Dunedin||Wheelchair rugby|