Posted on Monday 19th December, 2016

Rio 2016 Paralympic medallist William Stedman was back on the athletics track last weekend competing in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Association (NZSSAA) Track, Field and Road Championships in Auckland. William was joined by a field of more than 20 young Para-Athletes contesting over 30 track and field events across the three-day event.

NZSSAA Records fell across all competition groups including junior and senior, boys and girls, and intellectual and physical impairment classifications. Aldrey Soria from Fairfield College, Dallas Hokai also from Fairfield College, and Josh Taylor from Wairarapa College set two records each in the junior boys intellectual impairment events, while in the senior events for athletes with an intellectual impairment, Taiyana Taylor from Allenvale School, Jack Lewer from Fielding High School, and Te Huia Apaapa from Waihi College etched their names in the record book.

In the events for athletes with a physical impairment, William Stedman (Middleton Grange School), Guy Harrison (Napier Boys High School), Benjamin Ellis (St Patricks College), David O’Connor (Auckland Grammar), Guy Finlay (Christ’s College), and Anton Besseling (New Plymouth Boys High School) all set records for their respective classifications across a range of track, field and road events. The Championship’s sole female competitor with a physical impairment, Anna Steven from Westlake Girls High School, made her mark on the Para-Athletics scene, participating in five events and establishing NZSSAA Records across all events for the senior girls T44 classification.

At the conclusion of the Championships, William Stedman and Jack Lewer were named Para-Athletes of the Meet for their outstanding effort and performances. Congratulations to all Para-Athletes for giving it your all throughout what was a very gruelling schedule of events.

Thank you to the NZSSAA, Athletics New Zealand, event officials, athletes, parents and coaches for your efforts over the weekend, and for your ongoing contribution to the growth of Para-Athletics in New Zealand.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in Para-Athletics as a Coach or an Official, Athletics New Zealand are currently offering a series of scholarships to fast track your development. For more information please see the below information and contact Joan Merrilees at joan@athletics.org.nz.