Showcase of Para sport in New Plymouth at the ACC Paralympics New Zealand Open Day
New Plymouth locals were treated to a showcase of Para sport yesterday at the ACC Paralympics New Zealand Open Day at TSB Stadium. The public had the opportunity to discover a variety of Para sports including Para athletics, Para cycling, Para swimming, Wheelchair rugby, Wheelchair basketball and Boccia. They were also able to connect with organisations such as Be Accessible and Blind Sports NZ.
The event was run in conjunction with Parafed Taranaki and builds on the success of last weekend’s ACC Paralympics New Zealand Open Day in Wellington.
Paralympians Corey Peters (New Plymouth), Mary Fisher (Wellington), Stephen Hills (New Plymouth), Greg Reid (Wellington) and Para athlete Jack Lewer (Palmerston North) shared their experiences and triumphs with the crowds. It was clear that the attendees were excited about meeting their Paralympic heroes.
Clinton Davis from New Plymouth was one such attendee that came along to TSB Stadium yesterday to find out more about Para sport and give it a go. Davis does not currently play sport however after receiving a letter from ACC about the Open Day in New Plymouth he was intrigued and decided to come along and see what it was all about. “I really enjoyed talking to the exhibitors that represented heaps of different Para sports and finding out what was available locally that I could get involved in.“ He continued, “I enjoyed all of the Para sports including Wheelchair basketball and Para table tennis and being able to give it a go was fun. Wheelchair basketball was so cool – really fast and exciting.“
Davis had an accident 22 years ago when climbing a power pole. He accidently touched the wires and was electrocuted. He says he is lucky to be alive after 11,000 volts of electricity passed through his body. As a result, he is now a single arm amputee.
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) and its major partner ACC have developed and are jointly staging the events. Several other providers, including local Parafeds and National Sports Organisations, were on-site to showcase opportunities for disabled people. PNZ classifiers and high performance team members worked with participants to explore their physical capabilities and interest in the various Para sports available. The events are designed to be fun and interactive, with friends and families also encouraged to attend. The third event in the current series is taking place at Pulman Park, Auckland on 2 December 2017. Two further events will be held during 2018 in Tauranga and Dunedin.