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News posted on Monday 11th March, 2019

Wellington disabled sporting organisation gets a makeover

Wellington Disabled Sport event photo

The new look and feel is the result of an extensive rebranding initiative to celebrate the organisation’s 50 years of inspiring and enabling Wellingtonians with disabilities. The organisation will now be known as dsport.

“As a proud Wellingtonian, it’s vital we embrace the diversity of our communities – especially those with disabilities. I’m reminded that many of us now have a disability in one form or another – meaning participation in sport and having recreational time can be difficult.“

“I’m also proud of the one organisation in the capital solely committed to facilitating sport and recreation opportunities for those with disabilities has seen the need to refresh it’s brand to improve visibility and assist them achieve their goals“, say Eagle.

“The brand launch is a recognition of our history and an acknowledgement of our future.  50 years ago, the Wellington Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Association was established.  In 1994, it was renamed as Parafed Wellington.“ Said President, Alan Signal.

“The continued need for our service – providing sport and active recreation for disabled people in the Wellington Region – illustrates there is still some way to go before full inclusion is achieved in sport.“

The new brand developed by Ocular, a Wellington digital creative agency, is the result of a collaborative process with key industry stakeholders as well as members. 

Catriona McBean Manager of dsport said, “dsport reflects the organisation’s passion for giving everybody, of every ability, the opportunity to reach their full potential. The name also aligns with the organisation’s mission; to support and grow the potential of children, families and the community via events, sport and connection.“

“In rebranding as dsport, we are signalling our desire to continue to be relevant, current and meaningful to disabled people in our community, and in particular our young people.“

“But it’s not just about the sport and active recreation.  We are actively and courageously changing our communities.  We are changing perceptions around what disabled people can do.  We are changing the way others see disabled people.  And we are changing our member’s lives“, said McBean.
Our vision is for Wellington to be a diverse and inclusive region.  We see our role as inspiring, enabling and achieving disability sport and active recreation.

We inspire disabled people to become involved in sport and active recreation by showcasing opportunities and pathways.  We enable by making it easy to become involved and by providing funding to our members.  And most importantly, our members achieve.

Dual Paralympian Kate Horan, Sport Coordinator at dsport said “the work we are doing for young disabled people is vitally important for their wellbeing.  As a young amputee myself, I felt there weren’t the sporting and active recreation opportunities for me to do with similarly-abled kids.  I am passionate about sport and I want to share that passion.  For me, I want to make these young people’s lives better through sport and active recreation.“

Horan is responsible for the dsport Youth Group which is focused on providing a range of opportunities for young disabled people to experience and to develop their skills.  The Youth Group also provides an invaluable network for parents who often feel isolated and alone dealing with issues most parents don’t experience.

In 1969, the Wellington Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Association was formed.  The purpose was to promote, organise and finance games, sports, recreation for paraplegics and other physically disabled persons.   Fifty years on, this purpose is still relevant.

dsport members participate and compete in a range of team sports including Boccia, Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby, as well as individual sports such as cycling, swimming and archery.  Representing dsport at national competitions or being selected to represent New Zealand internationally is a goal for many members.  dsport is a member of Paralympics NZ.

This year dsport plans to open opportunities for young disabled people through the Youth Group.  Last week 12 members participated in the Wellington Round the Bays event and in 3 weeks we will be entering a team in the Wellington Weet-bix Try.   For our adult members dsport will be hosting a Wheelchair Rugby tournament at Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua, in July and the Boccia National Championships at the ASB Sports Centre, Kilbirnie in October.

Photo: Paul Eagle (MP for Rongotai), Kate Horan, Catriona McBean, Mike Tana (Mayor, Porirua City), Justin Lester (Mayor, Wellington City), Noah Bootsma, Charlotte Bootsma, Liam Melvin.

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