Posted on Friday 14th April, 2023

224 young people, aged 8-21 with a physical or visual impairment, are expected to descend into Auckland for the Halberg Games from 14-16 April 2023. The Halberg Games is a three-day national sports festival held in association with Parafeds or similar organisations around New Zealand.

The Halberg Games schedule this year features over 20 different disability sports, recreation, and play opportunities. Paralympian #183 Holly Robinson will be amongst the action as a supporter whilst Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) staff will also be on hand to interact with athletes and their whānau. One athlete looking forward to his sixth Halberg Games is Jaden Movold from Auckland. Jaden has spina bifida and attended his first Halberg Games in 2014 as a 9-year-old. He is now an internationally classified wheelchair racer and expects to have loads of fun at the Games whilst being able to work on refining his technique during his races.

This year, Jaden is not only participating as an athlete but will also be coaching other athletes. Jaden encourages first-timers at the event ‘to try everything’. He says,

“You don’t need to set high expectations as you can use the Halberg Games as a stepping stone to try new things and to find out what you might love and be good at.”

Jaden leads by example as he has been involved in multiple sports including swimming, Wheelchair basketball, skiing, table tennis, surfing, athletics, Wheelchair tennis, gymnastics, triathlon, and Wheelchair turbo touch. He is also a massive NBA and basketball fan and will take part in Wheelchair basketball at the Games too. Fun fact, one sport that Jaden hasn’t tried but hopes to give a go one day is Para ice hockey!

Jaden currently trains 6-7 times a week and Jaden balances his training commitments with study at AUT University and community work with the likes of Auckland Transport, Disability Sport Auckland, and the Ministry of Youth Development. He is also a Youth Council member for the Halberg Foundation, a PNZ Harvey Norman Para Sport Champion, and a member of the I.LEAD national committee advocating for physically disabled young people across various topics including education, health, and sport and influencing disabled tamariki to become engaged in sport.

Jaden is most looking forward to competing at his first World Para Athletics Grand Prix event in Switzerland later in May. Jaden is anticipating taking part in 14 races (from 100m to 5000m) over 3 events in his 2-week tour of Europe. He hopes to learn more by being amongst the world’s best Para athletes at this high-standard competition. This aligns well with his ultimate goal to represent New Zealand at the Paralympic Games. As a determined athlete like his hero American Paralympian Daniel Romanchuk, it feels like Jaden is everything, everywhere, all at once. We wish Jaden, all the participants and their support teams and whānau all the best at the Halberg Games 2023.

Find out more about the event and schedule here: