Jacob Phillips has always had a passion for sport from a very young age. It was not until he was identified by Paralympics New Zealand as one that could succeed in Para athletics that Jacob decided to focus his efforts on this single sport.
Jacob felt he had potential that could go all the way when he competed at the New Zealand Secondary School Championships in Wellington in 2010 winning a gold in the 100m, 200m and the 400m, silver in the 200m.
Jacob has a real passion for inspiring other young Para athletes and has been a youth ambassador for Parafed Waikato, assisting a young group of disabled athletes at the Junior Disability Games. More recently however he has been a member of the Waikato Pathway to Podium hub and was reselected this year for the programme into the Otago hub. Pathway to Podium provides support and services to up and coming athletes.
Jacob is currently studying a Bachelor of Physical Education at the University of Otago. He believes this will help add to his sporting knowledge, subsequently provide benefits to his Para athletics career as he gains a better understanding of the principles involved with sprinting.
What makes Jacob even more remarkable is the fact that he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2015 and as a result of this Jacob put his Para athletics career on hold, and missed out on the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha. Testament to both his mental and physical strength he is now back stronger than ever and made his Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He was part of the New Zealand Paralympic Team that won a stunning 21 medals across 12 individual medallists in 2016 (9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze). The Team finished first in the world per capita and 13th in the world overall (previous best: 16th).
Key international events include: