Paralympics New Zealand and ACC are excited to announce a new major partnership designed to inspire those living with a disability and to encourage ACC clients to try a range of suitable sports with a view to joining the Paralympic programme.
Paralympics New Zealand plans to use the partnership to identify and support new Para-Athletes with a view to deepening its talent base through to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and onwards to Tokyo 2020 and beyond. In turn, ACC plans to use the ongoing success of kiwi Paralympians to motivate injured New Zealanders returning to life after an accident
Fiona Allan (Chief Executive, PNZ) says, “We are incredibly proud to be partnering with ACC. The synergies between our two organisations are clear, as is our joint passion for encouraging, supporting and promoting social change for the 1.1 million kiwis living with a disability in New Zealand.”
“Involvement in sport has proven health and wellbeing benefits that are even more pronounced in those with a disability. Para-Sport is also unique in its ability to empower individuals. That ACC has chosen to partner with us in this way truly underlines the passion, hard-work and commitment of everyone that works in the sector.”
Scott Pickering (Chief Executive, ACC) says, “Being able to create and facilitate opportunities for our clients with disabilities to try Para-Sport as part of their recovery and return to independence is just fantastic. Recovery can be a very long road and to be part of a group of equally motivated individuals who are discovering what they can do, rather than what they can’t, is enormously beneficial to that process.”
Kate Horan (Beijing 2008 medallist in Para-Athletics; now a Rio 2016 hopeful in Para-Cycling) says, “As a Paralympian, you always hope that your hard work and success will inspire people. But you also hope that you can help build a lasting legacy for the sports that you love. It is exciting to see ACC partner with Paralympics New Zealand this way, with a shared vision to create tangible ways to inspire and support the Paralympians of tomorrow.”
The partnership will be celebrated for the first time when ACC joins Paralympics New Zealand at the AUT Millennium on Monday 7 September 2015 to mark ‘1 Year To Go’ until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. PNZ will launch its new Spirit of Gold™ Initiative with 365 children in home-made gold supporters’ costumes taking part in a media shoot with New Zealand’s best Paralympians, including Michael Johnson, Sophie Pascoe, Mary Fisher, Emma Foy and Laura Thompson. This will be followed by a Para-Fun Day to teach the children about Para-Sport and disability. The Spirit of Gold™ Initiative is a long-term campaign designed to increase awareness and raise funds to support Para-Sport in the community and in the short term, fund those on the Road to Rio 2016. Over 50 organisations – including ACC – have signed up to take part in a gold themed mufti day (encouraging people to wear the colours gold and yellow) to help raise funds.
For more information or to donate to Paralympics New Zealand, visit: www.paralympics.org.nz