Posted on Thursday 8th December, 2022

  • Parafeds or similar organisations from around New Zealand came together for a Community Para Sport Workshop to find new ways of working together with Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ).
  • PNZ organised the 2-day workshop, hosting 22 representatives from 13 regions.
  • The group discussed the coverage of community Para sport opportunities for disabled New Zealanders and shared nationwide data.

The Community Para Sport Workshop

The workshop, organised by PNZ, brought together regional organisations such as Parafeds for two days of strategic discussion and knowledge-sharing.

PNZ’s Chief Executive Fiona Allan said:

“It’s fantastic that Paralympics New Zealand and Parafeds or similar organisations had the opportunity to get together to look at possibilities for the future. It was a great workshop to discuss and seek a shared understanding of community Para sport across New Zealand. We understand that there is so much potential to increase Para sport opportunities and promote these to disabled people and their families and we look forward to working with our members to be collectively stronger together.”

Disability Sport Auckland’s Chair Mike Bishop added:

“The mood is upbeat. There’s been a really good exchange of ideas. It’s a great opportunity to get all of the country here to talk about the way forward together with PNZ and where PNZ is going to fit versus where the regions are going to fit. This is a really good basepoint for us going forward into the future to think about how relevant we are so that those who end up with a disability in their family have an awareness of us and can reach out.”

One of the topics presented included data about the overall community Para sport landscape in New Zealand. This covered questions such as: “How varied and how frequent are the opportunities for disabled people to take part in the sport of their choice in different parts of the country?”

PNZ presented mapping data and information, which they had previously sourced from Parafeds and similar organisations, and collated for an overall picture of the New Zealand status quo. The participants discussed ways to build further capability and capacity at various levels of community Para sport.

PNZ’s Para Sport Community Manager Marianne Loh explained:

“It is extremely valuable to have the overall picture of what community Para sport opportunities exist for disabled New Zealanders. We look forward to continuing to build further quality opportunities in partnership with Parafeds and similar organisations to ensure everyone can pursue their sport of choice.”

The participants engaged on how PNZ and Parafeds or similar organisations can work collaboratively to strengthen community Para sport. Excitingly, there was an appetite to look towards developing shared initiatives with a goal to provide:

Thriving community Para sport environments that foster new beginnings, sense of belonging, opportunities for achievement and continuous pathways for disabled people.

 About Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ)  

  • Paralympics New Zealand is the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) for New Zealand. We are a charity and our overall vision is ‘Transforming lives through Para sport’. As a member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), we are part of a worldwide social change movement, which uses the power of sport to positively influence community perceptions of disabled people and to promote a more diverse and inclusive society.  
  • To do this, we support and celebrate the achievements of Para athletes at international and national competitions all year round. Every two years, we lead New Zealand teams to the Paralympic Games. We also work in the local community to advocate for sport to become more accessible for disabled people and to support the creation of more systems and programmes to enable participation in Para sport.   

About Parafeds and other regional Para sport organisations  

  • Parafeds or similar organisations are member organisations of PNZ. They are regional organisations that provide sport and recreation opportunities for disabled people. Some of these opportunities are in recognised Para sports with a pathway to the Paralympic Games.