The Celebration Project – 1 year anniversary
Today, Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) marked 1 year since the launch of The Celebration Project where the first group of New Zealand Paralympians were acknowledged and celebrated in Auckland as they received their official Paralympic numbered pin. This was the first time Paralympians had ever been acknowledged in this way in New Zealand.
Now 1 year on, a total of 77 Paralympians have been acknowledged with 7 community events being held throughout New Zealand and 1 special event in Germany. PNZ did have a further 4 community events planned although due to COVID-19 these have been postponed.
As of 5 May 2020 and thanks to the support of the NZ public we now only have 15 New Zealand Paralympians to find (or their family if they passed away) and we would greatly appreciate your further assistance with this. PNZ is calling on all Kiwis to help us find the remaining 15 Paralympians or their families.
Fiona Allan (Chief Executive, PNZ) said: “We have been so privileged to have already acknowledged and celebrated 77 of our Paralympians and connected with 187 Paralympians and/or their families. We thank all individuals and organisations that have helped us to find these Paralympians and now call upon members of the public to help us find the remaining 15 Paralympians and/or their families. This will ensure that they can be acknowledged and celebrated and for their stories to be shared once again with all New Zealanders.”
Of the 15 Paralympians:
- 6 Paralympians were part of the very first New Zealand Paralympic Team that competed at the Tel Aviv 1968 Paralympic Games
- 3 Paralympians competed in summer Paralympic Games throughout the 1970s
- 3 Paralympians competed in summer Paralympic Games throughout the 1980s
- 2 Paralympians represented New Zealand at Paralympic Winter Games
- 1 Paralympians competed at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
Paralympian #76 Evan Clulee who received his Paralympic pin 1 year ago said he would love for all his fellow Paralympians to have the same experience he did: “To now be numbered as New Zealand Paralympian #76, to be honoured as one of 209 New Zealand athletes that represented New Zealand at a Paralympic Games cannot be summed up easily. To be honoured is broad, it is wide reaching, life impacting, and a huge privilege.”
Read Paralympian #76 Evan Clulee’s story – What it means to be honoured as a NZ Paralympian.
Together our 209 Paralympians represent over 50 years of Paralympic history in New Zealand, since 1968 New Zealand Paralympic Teams have stunned supporters and competing nations with their determination, resilience, courage and ultimately, their success. Paralympians have contributed to New Zealand Paralympic Teams success by representing Kiwis with pride and dignity and bringing home a staggering 221 medals across 23 Paralympic Games. Through this success they have inspired Kiwis to think differently about disability.
The official Paralympic ‘number’ is a unique number that is bestowed only once a Paralympian has competed at their first Paralympic Games. Athletes are then ordered alphabetically within each Paralympic Games.
To find out more about PNZ or New Zealand Paralympians go to www.paralympics.org.nz.
If you have any information that could assist in connecting with the 22 Paralympians or their families please call +64 9 526 0760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.