"Seeing is believing. PNZ Education Programme". Image of Paralympian Holly Robinson carrying NZ flag at Rio 2016

‘Seeing is Believing’ is part of the PNZ Strengthen and Adapt Plan, and is a two-part project aiming to change perceptions of disability through the lens of Paralympians, Para athletes and the Paralympic Movement. It combines Para sport learning and lived experiences to inspire both participation and inclusion in school environments. 

What will be delivered?

The I’mPOSSIBLE and Harvey Norman Para Sport Champions initiatives will connect with both disabled and non-disabled tamariki, their teachers and kaiako, schools by opening minds and challenging perceptions, behaviours and choices. 

  • The Education Lead will develop the Harvey Norman Para Sport Champions initiative to be piloted alongside I’mPOSSIBLE initiative in up to 20 schools in New Zealand. This will involve working with NSOs/NDSOs in the first instance to identify, recruit, and train Champions at different levels of the Para sport pathway. 
  • Timing of the pilot and launch of the finalised I’mPOSSIBLE resource will be cognisant of school terms, teacher and Kaiako workloads. It is important that the resource is seen as a useful part of the curriculum, that is engaging and interesting to tamariki and that it supports teacher teaching outcomes without being an added burden. 

Work collaboratively with:

  • Sport NZ Education Team including Healthy Active Learning Team to support identification of pilot schools. 
  • Regional Parafed organisations and the Halberg Foundation to achieve shared goals of creating inclusive environments and increased activity opportunities. 

What has been achieved?

  • 20 pilot schools across 4 regions in New Zealand took part in the pilot in October-December 2022.
Harvey Norman Para Sport Champions logo
  • 4 Parafeds and the Halberg Foundation engaged in collaboration.

Recrafting and writing

I’mPOSSIBLE provided an excellent platform to be able to craft a resource that was designed with a NZ audience in mind.  Some of the important changes that we made to the resource were:

  • Connecting the learning activities to the NZ Curriculum through the Health and Physical Education lens
  • The inclusion of Te Reo Māori and NZ Sign Language. The Paralympics values were translated in both languages.
  • Creating new resources and activities with young, NZ learners in mind complementing the existing I’mPOSSIBLE resources
  • Highlighting NZ Para athletes and Paralympians through the inclusion of their images and stories (Fast Fact Sheets), throughout the resource.


For the purpose of the pilot project, PNZ focussed on Primary School, Years 1 – 6, with the goal of recruiting 20 schools to launch and test the resources in, across four regions in New Zealand. The regions included Auckland, Waikato, Canterbury, and Otago. PNZ collaborated with several organisations during this time, who supported the PNZ Education Lead to make connections with schools in each region. This included the regional advisors from both the Halberg Foundation and Sport New Zealand Healthy Active Learning Team who have a large work force on the ground in each region. These relationships were crucial in the early stages of connecting with potential pilot schools.

The PNZ Education Lead also worked with the Parafeds (regional disability sport and recreation organisations) in each region to keep them informed and to gain their support. The pilot provided a platform to promote services that the Parafeds offer in their regions including community Para sport opportunities for disabled learners and their families and in-school services that complimented the I’mPOSSIBLE resources.

We engaged with 11 Para athletes/Paralympians, connecting them to two schools each within their region. 


The PNZ Education Lead planned and facilitated a training workshop for the Para Sport Champions in August to support their preparation for the school visits in Term 4 (October – December). Experts in leadership and storytelling were engaged on the day to run workshops for the Para Sport Champions including well known NZ Paralympian #124 Mark Inglis ONZM. 

Throughout Term 3 (July – September), the PNZ Education Lead visited each pilot school to run a training session for teachers who were going to be engaging with the resources in Term 4.


Collaboration with other organisations was a crucial part of the work leading up to the launch of this pilot. The PNZ Education Lead updated key stakeholders about the progress at each stage of the pilot.  Key stakeholders included:

  • Sport New Zealand – Healthy Active Learning Teams
  • Parafeds – Auckland, Waikato, Canterbury, and Otago
  • Halberg Foundation
  • PENZ – Physical Education New Zealand
  • Unitec Auckland (Tertiary Institution)
  • Ministry of Education (Government Department)


The pilot had a two part launch which included the launch of the Harvey Norman Para Sport Champions initiative on 12 August 2022. On 17 October 2022, the pilot initiative was launched in 20 schools across the four regions. The launch was shared with key stakeholders and New Zealand media, through a press release issued by PNZ.

Woman at computer with PNZ Education Website showing on screen
PNZ Education website