Posted on Tuesday 1st September, 2020

New Zealand Paralympians have been hit hard by COVID-19, their moment to shine this year taken away from them, the realisation that their hard work and preparation, planned to the minutest detail, were suddenly dashed. They now must reset and get their heads back in the game; focus on the sport that they live and breathe; training, eating and mentally pushing every day. Our Paralympians are incomparable in their dedication, passion and talent, through their amazing successes they are incredible role models, challenging societal perceptions of disabled people in New Zealand and worldwide. They need support to share their passion and get back on top.

Many Paralympians follow the Para sport pathway from grassroots to high performance, and whilst the ultimate goal for some Para athletes may be to represent their country at a Paralympic Games, for others it may be to just compete against other Para athletes in their chosen sport in their community. Activity and sport are so important, providing huge personal value to the lives of New Zealanders. It is crucial that everyone is given the opportunity to participate, uninhibited by a lack of options, access, and cost.

INCOMPARABLE Bequest Programme

Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) has launched our new bequest programme, INCOMPARABLE, this week to raise vital funds for the future of the Paralympic Movement in New Zealand. We have teamed up with the Public Trust to provide you, through their online platform, an easy way to get your will started if you haven’t done so already. Receive 15% discount using code PARA15 by signing up here. 1 in 4 adult New Zealanders currently do not have a will, each year around 1,500 people die without one. Now is always the best time to plan for your future. Have you considered what your legacy will be?

In the 52 years since New Zealand first sent a Paralympic Team to the Tel Aviv 1968 Paralympic Games in Israel, societal perceptions of disability have changed, but there is still work to be done educating New Zealanders about diversity and inclusion. We rely on the generosity of the public to help fund our work dedicated to supporting and celebrating the achievements of Para athletes at international and national competition, working in the local community to advocate for sport to become more accessible for disabled people, and supporting the creation of programmes to enable participation in Para sport. Leaving a gift in your will to PNZ will provide incomparable support for the Paralympic Movement in this country. Your legacy will enable our Paralympians to inspire many generations of disabled New Zealanders, you will provide a legacy for thousands of Kiwis.

CYRIL SMITH’S LEGACY

In 2014 PNZ was bequeathed $1 million by Christchurch philanthropist Cyril Smith to further assist with the training and development of Para athletes in the Canterbury region. With this money, we have set up the PNZ Cyril Smith Legacy Fund which is open to applications from Para athletes in Canterbury three times a year. To date Cyril Smith’s legacy has contributed to the development of regional Para swimming, Para cycling and Para athletics and Boccia programmes.

Participants of the Para swimming camp in Christchurch in 2017

By removing barriers to participation and ensuring Para athletes have access to experienced coaches and support staff, dozens of Para athletes have been able to discover, and continue along, the Para sport pathway. The fund has directly supported a number of individual Para athletes, coaches and Para sport organisations. ParaFed Canterbury is a regular recipient of the fund and this has had an overwhelmingly positive impact for their members.

“ParaFed Canterbury provides Para sport and recreation opportunities for people with a physical impairment in the Canterbury region. The programmes and services we offer are life changing and we put a large emphasis on young people.

The Cyril Smith Legacy Fund has enabled not only ParaFed Canterbury to deliver our programmes and services but for individuals to realise their sporting dreams. The name Cyril Smith lives on in the hearts and minds of all those that have been recipients of the fund and has ensured that many barriers to participation have been removed and that all people with a physical impairment who want to reach their sporting goals have the same opportunities as their able bodied counterparts.”

Ken Sowden, Operations Manager ParaFed Canterbury

Cyril Smith gave generously throughout his life, however the money he bequeathed to the Canterbury region was his legacy. This legacy lives on, funding the dreams of Para athletes and knocking down barriers to participation in sport for Para athletes for many years to come.

YOUR SUPPORT FOR PARA SPORT

As sport slowly gets back on its feet in New Zealand, support to ensure that sport is accessible for disabled people is incredibly important. With 24% of all New Zealanders, including 95,000 under the age of 15, identifying as being disabled, support for accessible and inclusive community disability sport and recreation opportunities during these times is critical. We believe that sport has the power to enable and enrich the lives of disabled people and we want to secure long-term participation and provision with your help.

PNZ continues to work tirelessly to raise public awareness and drive community engagement with Para sport, Para athletes and New Zealand Paralympians. We all know that life is incredibly uncertain at the moment, and it is important, now more than ever, to ensure we have all planned for the future. The Public Trust has launched its new online service, where you can quickly and easily create your will 24/7 on a secure platform. Public Trust is the most experienced trustee services organisation in New Zealand and their services cover all needs, from simple to complex. Begin writing your will online at Public Trust today and receive 15% discount using code PARA15 by signing up here. Please consider PNZ when given the option to leave a gift in your will.

Everyone is different, and so are their circumstances, so it is important that the legacy you leave is right for you. If you do decide to include us in your will, please let us know so we can formally recognise your generosity. If you would like to discuss leaving an INCOMPARABLE legacy, we would love to talk to you about the impact it will have.

If you need to discuss your plans please call the PNZ Chief Executive, Fiona Allan on +64 (0) 27 248 4828.

Legal name: Paralympics New Zealand Incorporated

Charities Number: CC33576