A group of people, children and elderly, grouped together in a hall. PNZ and Boccia NZ banners in background. One person is standing in front of the group presenting.

One of three projects within the PNZ Strengthen and Adapt Plan, “Collectively Stronger Together” aims to drive national and regional collaboration to achieve organisational role clarity, strategic alignment, and capitalise on shared expertise to improve operating approaches and deliver on shared initiatives that strengthen, align and enhance community Para sport outcomes across New Zealand.

What will be delivered?

This project has three components designed to better understand the Para sport landscape and increase collaboration and regional alignment:

  1. Mapping the landscape
  2. Regional Para sport pilots
  3. Strategic partnership and shared initiatives.

Mapping the Para sport landscape

  • PNZ will build sector relationships while mapping the Para sport landscape by engaging with Parafed or similar organisations, other community partners and champions. 
  • PNZ will also engage with other National Disability Sport Organisations (NDSOs), National Sports Organisations (NSOs) and Regional Sports Trusts (RSTs) to capture details of the Para sport programmes and opportunities delivered by organisations for disabled New Zealanders of all ages. 

Regional community Para sport pilots

  • PNZ will collaboratively stage regional community Para sport pilots across 3 regions and 3 Para sports in 2023, 2024 and 2025. The pilots will provide investment into NSOs and Parafeds or similar organisations to collaboratively develop untapped regional community Para sport opportunities whilst also enhancing existing opportunities.
  • The Para Sport Community Manager will support all three pilots working alongside regional partners, NSOs/RSOs, NDSOs to co-design the pilots ensuring operational expertise in place to support each pilot partner. The three pilots to strengthen the regional delivery system for Para sport will be consecutively implemented, one per year, to allow learnings to be transferred from one pilot to another to capitalise on improvement opportunities. 
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the pilots will take place throughout and a framework outlining best practice will be used to assist the co-design and development of future community Para sport partnerships and programmes.
  • PNZ is seeking to work with one National Sports Organisation (NSO) that is more established in Para sport and another NSO that is less established in Para sport delivery, along with their RSOs/clubs. An application process took place for all NSO members to apply to partner in the delivery of a regional community Para sport pilot. More information about this process is available here. Applications closed in December 2022, with NSOs to be selected and informed in early 2023.

Building strategic partnership and areas of alignment between PNZ and Parafed organisations

  • This is seen as integral to the success of this project. Working to co-design a shared vision and develop strategic alignments is a key component to achieving a stronger Para sport system.
  • Service level agreements, and regular workshops to co-design shared, implement, measure and evaluate agreed community Para sport initiatives will underpin the outcome – Collectively Stronger Together. 
  • Facilitate PNZ and Parafed or similar organisations workshop to co-evaluate progress, further develop trusted relationships, and review strategic priorities. 

What has been achieved so far?

Better understanding

  • A nationwide view of Para sport programmes and opportunities delivered by a range of organisations for disabled New Zealanders of all ages have been captured. This involved building relationships and engaging with representatives Parafeds or similar organisations, NDSOs, NSOs, and RSTs across 13 regions.
  • As a result of the Para sport mapping exercise, PNZ discovered that 20 out of 28 Para sports on the Paralympic Games programme had been experienced in some form across New Zealand. 6 out of the 14 additional Para sports that are IPC recognised International Sport Federations have been experienced in some form across New Zealand. The Para sport experiences encompass opportunities delivered by a mixture of inclusive sports clubs, Parafeds and similar organisations. From over 150 Para sport opportunities identified around the country, close to a quarter of those were considered regular (weekly) offerings.
  • As the community Para sport landscape continues to grow, PNZ continues to monitor, review and capture details where relevant.

More opportunities

  • The first regional community Para sport pilot has taken place in partnership with Boccia New Zealand, Disability Sport & Recreation Hawke’s Bay, Parafed Manawatū, and Parafed Taranaki. The pilot partners established new equipment, designed a community Boccia resource manual, developed marketing content, recruited and upskilled 9 activators across 3 regions to deliver a 6-week programme named ‘Gotcha Boccia’ which commenced in May 2023. A total of 38 people with physical, vision, or intellectual impairments experienced Gotcha Boccia across the three regions (over 60% of people were new to Boccia, and over 40% of people were new to Para sport). The programme has continued to operate post-pilot period in Hawke’s Bay and Manawatū – watch the impact here.
  • A second regional community Para sport pilot is currently in progress in partnership with Athletics New Zealand, Parafed Gisborne, Athletics Hawkes Bay Gisborne, Parafed Northland, Athletics Whangarei, Inclusive Activity Murihiku and Athletics Southland. The pilot partners leveraged learnings from the first pilot to established varying equipment and networking needs, designed a supplementary resource manual to an established Athletics New Zealand coaching resource and are in the process of delivering an 8-week programmed named ‘Adaptive Run Jump Throw’.
  • A third regional community Para sport pilot in partnership with Table Tennis New Zealand, Parafed Auckland, Waitamatā Table Tennis, ParaFed Canterbury, Table Tennis Canterbury, Waikato Table Tennis will be staged in May 2024, with more details to follow.

Improving alignment

  • PNZ Community Para Sport workshops have taken place in 2022 and 2023, bringing together over 20 representatives from 13 regions to identify new opportunities to work together each year.
  • Workshops have included opportunities to share updates on PNZ’s work within Collectively Stronger Together, and share PNZ’s philosophy on community Para sport: “Thriving community Para sport environments that foster new beginnings, sense of belonging, opportunities for achievement and continuous pathways for disabled people”.
  • Workshops have also included discussions about PNZ and Parafeds’ roles and responsibilities within community Para sport which led to the development of some Themes and Initiative Areas, with the forming of a working group suggested to shift some ideas into action.
  • The working group consisting of five governance and operations representatives from Parafeds and similar organisations supported the development of suggested shared initiatives.

A boccia coach, crouching next to a young boy in a gym