On Monday 7 September 2015, marking exactly ‘365 days to go’ until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, 365 local children helped Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) launch its new Spirit of Gold® Initiative. The name was carefully selected to represent the dual purpose of PNZ: ‘spirit’ to represent ‘community’ and ‘gold’ to recognise ‘high performance’.
Dressed in gold, the children joined Paralympians Sophie Pascoe, Mary Fisher, Michael Johnson and Laura Thompson, alongside then Para athlete, Emma Foy, in a media event at the AUT Millennium. This was followed by a ‘Para Fun Day’ to teach the children about Para sport. Following the launch, a variety of community initiatives are being rolled out across the country.
The Spirit of Gold® Collection toured the country during 2015 and 2016 with the support of our partners in the build-up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The Collection provided a unique way to raise awareness in the community and further increase the understanding of Para athletes and Para sport. The Collection has stimulated interest throughout New Zealand with over 120,000 people having seen the portraits first hand in 85 different locations. The Collection is now available for purchase, don't miss out.
Most recently, PNZ together with Major Partner ACC, launched a series of ACC Paralympics New Zealand Open Days throughout New Zealand. This series of events is a great opportunity to meet the New Zealand Paralympians, find out what Para sports are in your area, have a go and watch a variety of demonstrations! Para sports will include Wheelchair Basketball, Para cycling, Boccia, Para athletics plus many more.