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LATEST NEWS
To view archived news click here.
 

24 July 2014
Bronze for Kiwi at 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships
The 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships has drawn to a close overnight in Suhl, Germany with the NZ Para-Shooter Michael Johnson winning a bronze medal in the R5 Air Rifle prone.

Malcolm Humm (High Performance Director, Paralympics New Zealand) said, “The performance of Michael Johnson today was superb. The level of competition at these World Championships is greater than it has ever been. This is a Paralympic Sport that is growing rapidly with a large number of new athletes now breaking into the top ten in the world. For Michael to continue to win medals at the Paralympic Games and World Championships demonstrates the class athlete he is.”

Humm continued, “PNZ attended these World Championships with two specific goals; to win one medal and to secure New Zealand a slot for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in the sport of shooting. We achieved both goals which is an excellent outcome.”

The New Zealand team included Para-Shooters Grant Phillip and Greg Reid.

Full team results:

Athletes

Event

 RESULTS

 Resides

Michael Johnson

R5 Air Rifle Prone

BRONZE.  Score – 636.2

Waiuku

 

R4 Air Rifle Standing

11th

 

 

R9 50m Rifle Prone

11th

 

Greg Reid

R3 Air Rifle Prone

28th

Wellington

 

R6 50m Rifle Prone

39th

 

Grant Philip

R5 Air Rifle Prone

42nd

Christchurch

 

R4 Air Rifle Standing

43rd

 


 

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

 

23 July 2014
Snows Sports NZ Awarded Grant by the Agitos Foundation
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) congratulates Snow Sports NZ as they announce success in being awarded a grant by the Agitos Foundation.

The Agitos Foundation, which takes its name from the Paralympic Symbol (the Agitos) and comes from the Latin meaning “I move”, was created by the IPC to fulfil its strategic goal in terms of development and education. It acts as a catalyst supporting the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, through the impact of sport and physical activity.

Through developing sport opportunities, the Foundation aims to improve the life experiences of people with an impairment around the world, leaving a long-lasting mark on a more inclusive society.

Snow Sports NZ is responsible for delivering Paralympic pathways in New Zealand from grass roots through to high performance in adaptive snow sports. In conjunction with PNZ, Snow Sports NZ intends to identify and promote development pathways for youth skiers and snowboarders with a specific focus on female athletes. This project will look to identify, retain and develop athletes with potential for future Paralympic success. The project will focus on five key areas:

1. Talent identification camps - Three camps will focus on skill development with training provided by current Paralympic coaches.
2. Mentoring - Current Paralympic athletes will be involved in talent identification camps as mentors for future athletes.
3. Classification - Identified athletes will be officially classified for future competition.
4. Coach development - Able-bodied coaches will be invited to attend and learn alongside adaptive coaches to develop an awareness of the capabilities of adaptive athletes. These coaches will then be added to a database and invited to future training, including Technical Official training.
5. NZ & AUS collaboration – Australia will be invited to the final talent identification camp. A future joint NZ/AUS youth race circuit will be planned.

This project ultimately aims to identify and support emerging talent with a strong focus on women and youth.

 

- Snow Sports New Zealand

 

 

22 July 2014
Glasgow 2014 NZ Para-Swimmers schedule
Sophie Pascoe and Nikita Howarth are set to go at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as the Para-Swimming competition gets underway on Thursday 24 July.

In total 37 swimmers from 11 countries will compete in six Para-Swimming medal events in Glasgow which will take place in the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

Below is a schedule in NZ time including the two events each swimmer will compete in. This will be screened live on SkySport5. You can also follow our updates at https://www.facebook.com/paralympicsnewzealand?ref_type=bookmark or on Twitter @NZParalympics.

 

NZ TIME

 

GLASGOW TIME

 

 

 

 

 

23-Jul

 

Opening Ceremony

 

25-Jul

21.30 - 00.00

25-Jul

10.30 - 13.00

Nikita Howarth S8 100m Free

Heats

26-Jul

06.00 - 09.00

25-Jul

19.00 - 22.00

 

Finals

27-Jul

21.30 - 01.00

27-Jul

10.30 - 14.00

Sophie Pascoe SB9 100m Breast

Heats

 

 

 

 

Nikita Howarth SB9 100m Breast

 

28-Jul

06.00 - 09.00

27-Jul

19.00 - 22.00

Sophie Pascoe SB9 100m Breast

Finals

 

 

 

 

Nikita Howarth SB9 100m Breast

 

29-Jul

21.30 - 23.15

29-Jul

10.30 - 12.15

Sophie Pascoe SM10 200m IM

Heats

30-Jul

06.00 - 08.45

29-Jul

19.00 - 21.45

 

Finals

 

 

3-Aug

 

Closing Ceremony

 

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

 

10 July 2014
Cycling Events Announced
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is excited announce the registration of two International C1 Para-Cycling Events with the International Cycling Union (UCI) for the 2015 season.

Brendon Cameron (PNZ Bike Head Performance Coach) said, “From a strategic perspective hosting the events will provide an outstanding opportunity for New Zealand Development athletes to compete at an international level and gain international exposure on home ground.” He continues, “These events also allow NZ Para-Cycling to gain valuable UCI points vital for qualifying spots leading into the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.”

The events will include a UCI C1 Track Cycling event in Invercargill in early December 2014 (to be run in conjunction with the 2015 Southland Track Championships); and a UCI C1 Road Event to be held in Cambridge in early May 2015.

Participants will include High Performance and Development Para-Cyclists from New Zealand and Australia, with the prospect of other nations attending as they chase qualifying points for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
 

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

 

8 July 2014
International Wheelchair Rugby returns to NZ
International wheelchair rugby returns to New Zealand after five years this Friday night in Auckland, with the Wheel Blacks taking on Australia in a “friendly”.

While it is debatable if any trans-Tasman clash can be friendly, there will be no doubting the quality of the players on show at Lagoon Leisure Centre in Panmure at 7pm.

The Australian team is ranked second in the world and boasts some of the game's best players - in the form of Ryley Batt and Chris Bond – but the Kiwis have plenty to prove to their supporters.

Having slipped from Paralympic gold medallists in 2004, to 10th currently, Friday's match will be an opportunity for the Wheel Blacks to continue on the form they showed at last month's Canada Cup.

Coach Peter Martin felt the match wouldn't be without passion and sting, after all it is an international clash.

“We've seen them, we know what they can do, and we have got to reassert ourselves with what we're trying to do in certain line ups - and if we do that, we have good opportunity to steal a win,” Martin said

The international is part of New Zealand's pinnacle domestic event, the Nationals, in wheelchair rugby which runs from Friday morning through to Sunday at the Allan Brewster Leisure Centre in Papatoetoe.

Having stemmed from a proposed annual test series, similar to the Bledisloe Cup, both sides took advantage of the Australian's presence in New Zealand after entering two teams into the Nationals.

While the annual test series is still being negotiated, Friday's match would essentially be the start of many more clashes between the nations.

The Nationals, and the international, will be extremely competitive as Wheel Blacks team members look to hit form before departing for the IWRF World Wheelchair Rugby Championships in Denmark next month.

“We've got a lot of rugby between now and then,” Martin commented, who himself was a gold medal winning Paralympian in athletics.

“Nationals is a 'here we are' sort of thing and we'll start working the processes from there. It's also another opportunity to take the lessons from the Canada Cup [where the Kiwis finished seventh] and see if we've started the process of learning.”

 

- New Zealand Wheelchair Rugby

 

 

4 July 2014
New Zealand strongly represented on International Paralympic stage
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Copeland to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Legal and Ethics Committee. This further demonstrates PNZ’s position as a leader on the world stage.

This announcement follows last year’s appointment of Copeland (Chairperson of PNZ) as Secretary General of the Oceania Paralympic Committee. Other recent key international appointments for New Zealanders include the election of Duane Kale to the IPC Governing Board and Marguerite Christophers (PNZ Classification Manager) as a member of the ITU Para-Triathlon Committee and ITU Para-Triathlon Scientific Research Group. Paralympian Tim Prendergast is also an appointed member of the IPC Athletes Council.

Mark Copeland says, “I am humbled to be appointed to the IPC Legal and Ethics Committee. It is a first for New Zealand. I look forward to performing this important leadership role to my best ability, working hard to maintain the ethical operation of the IPC’s varied activities and to ensure fair processes and opportunities for Para-Athletes world-wide”.

Mark will bring a variety of skills and experience to his new role. The owner and director of commercial law firm MJC Legal Limited based in Rotorua, he has been the Chairman of PNZ for five years and has a broad knowledge of Para-Sport. Among other sporting involvements he is also a trustee of the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoors Pursuits Centre and of Sport Bay of Plenty.

"Mark’s appointment to the IPC Legal and Ethics Committee is an outstanding achievement, and ensures that New Zealand and the Oceania Region are well positioned to contribute to, and have a significant impact within, International Paralympic sport. I know that Mark is eager to collaborate with our international counterparts and further enhance the Paralympic movement," said Dave Stewart (Acting Chief Executive, PNZ).

The members of the Legal and Ethics Committee were announced along with five other IPC Standing Committees. Representatives across all Committees come from 21 different countries, representing all five world regions. The Legal and Ethics Committee has one position remaining to be filled by a Paralympic athlete with relevant legal experience who has competed at a Paralympic Games in the last eight years.

The announced Legal and Ethics Committee is:

Chairperson:
• Linda Mastandrea (USA)
Members:
• Carla Qualtrough (Canada)
• Winnet Kanyerere (Zimbabwe)
• Mark Copeland (New Zealand)
• Sora Noh (Korea)
• One Paralympic Athlete (to be appointed)

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

 

26 June 2014
Paralympics New Zealand appoints experienced National Development Coach
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) are pleased to announce the appointment of Gary Francis as National Development Coach with the PNZ Para-Swimming programme.

Francis is well known in swimming circles as the coach of London 2012 Paralympians Mary Fisher, Rebecca Dubber, Daniel Holt and Aine Kelly-Costello. At a club level his long standing involvement in North Shore Swimming Club has cumulated with Gary recently taking on the role of Senior Squad Coach.

The appointment of Francis rounds off an outstanding coaching team including recently appointed Roly Crichton (Performance Coach and coach to Sophie Pascoe) and Jon Shaw (Head Performance Coach).

PNZ’s High Performance Director, Malcolm Humm says, “As part of the PNZ Para-Swimming strategic plan we committed to having full time Performance Coaches leading in each area of the Athlete Development Pathway. Gary’s appointment will allow development athletes and their coaches to be exposed to quality coaching and planning support.”

With Hadleigh Pierson leading the PNZ Talent Identification Programme, Gary Francis leading the PNZ Para-Swimming Development programme and Head Performance Coach Jon Shaw leading the PNZ Para-Swimming High Performance Programme Humm believes PNZ’s vision of delivering a sustainable World Leading Para-Swimming programme is about to be realized.

Francis himself was equally excited by signing with PNZ saying, “I am thrilled to be joining the team on a full time basis.” He continues, “It is an exciting time to join the programme as the number and quality of athletes coming through talent identification and development continues to grow. I am looking forward to building on this and making NZ Para-Swimming better and stronger in the years ahead.”

Gary’s duties will predominantly involve developing and implementing the PNZ Para-Swimming Emerging Talent and Development Plan, development of a Para-Swimming Development Pathway and providing technical & planning support to Para-Swimming athletes and their coaches. Gary will also continue poolside coaching of a group of Para-Swimmers training in Auckland.

Gary commences in his new role on 27 July.

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

   

19 June 2014
ParaFed Otago – Sports Development Officer
Part Time – 20 hours per week
This new and exciting position will ensure that the physically disabled people of Otago are supported with sporting and opportunities within the Otago region. The position involves planning, recruiting, working with established sports and programmes and looking at ways of increasing the opportunities and the profile of ParaFed Otago.

Desired Key Skills for the position are:
A Love of Sport, Experience in Planning, A high level of organizational skills, A good network within the Otago region, Motivated, Good Computer and Social Media Skills, The ability to work weekends and evenings, Current Drivers License and own vehicle, First Aid Certificate, An awareness of physical disabilities.

The position will be based out of an office at Logan Park High School
 

Key Dates:
Applications Close 11th July 2014
Interviews in Dunedin 19th July 2014
Appointment Confirmed 23rd July 2014
Position Starts 1st September 2014
Christchurch Training 2nd and 3rd September 2014
If you are interested in the position or require any further information please contact
Ken Sowden
E Mail ksowden@parafedcanterbury.co.nz
Phone 021-0575992 or 03-3228513

 

- ParaFed Otago

 

   

18 June 2014
NZ Para-Swimmers unveiled as key swimmers to watch in 2014
To mark the three month anniversary since the Closing Ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has launched a stunning online short film "Sochi 2014 - Breaking Down Barriers" featuring many highlights from March's event.

The film, which can be viewed at http://bit.ly/sochi-highlights celebrates some of the greatest sporting moments, as well as the passionate crowds and the spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies from the Sochi 2014 Games.

After selling a record 316,200 tickets, attracting a record worldwide global TV audience and witnessing some top class athletic performances, IPC President Sir Philip Craven described Sochi 2014 as "the best Paralympic Winter Games ever."

A total of 72 medal events took place across five sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling. Para-snowboard made its Paralympic debut as part of the alpine skiing programme and the gold medals winners were the USA's Evan Strong and the Netherlands' Bibian Mentel-Spee.

Other stand out performers included Russia's Roman Petushkov who six gold medals out of seven events in biathlon and cross-country skiing and German sit-skier Anna Schaffelhuber who five golds from five events in alpine skiing.

USA beat Russia 1-0 to take gold in a thrilling ice sledge hockey competition and Canada claimed their third successive Paralympic gold in wheelchair curling.

Hosts Russia topped the medal table winning 80 medals, 30 of which were gold.

 

- International Paralympic Committee

 

   

16 June 2014
NZ Para-Swimmers unveiled as key swimmers to watch in 2014
With 50 days to go until August's 2014 IPC Swimming European Championships, IPC Swimming has revealed a list of 22 athletes to watch out for over the next 12 months, and it includes 2 of New Zealand's best Para-Swimmers - Sophie Pascoe and Mary Fisher.

The complete list hold a total of 98 Paralympic and 123 world individual golds between them, and are also likely to compete at October's Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games, the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and the Glasgow 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships.

Full biographies can be found at: http://www.paralympic.org/swimming/athletes/ones.

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

   

12 June 2014
Roly Crichton confirmed as full time Performance Coach
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) are pleased to announce the appointment of Roly Crichton as a full time Performance Coach with the PNZ Para-Swimming programme. Crichton, a Paralympic champion in his own swimming career, is the well known coach of Paralympic swimmer Sophie Pascoe.

This very successful partnership has seen Sophie win 10 Paralympic Games Medals for New Zealand – 3 Gold and 3 Silver at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and 3 Gold and 1 Silver at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.

PNZ’s High Performance Director, Malcolm Humm says, “As part of the PNZ Para-Swimming strategic plan we committed to having full time Performance Coaches leading campaigns such as Sophie’s. This will allow athletes to be exposed to the High Performance coaching environment they require. With the announcement of Jon Shaw as the PNZ Para-Swimming Head Performance Coach last year, Roly’s recent appointment and the upcoming appointment of a full time National Development Para-Swimming Coach PNZ’s vision of delivering a World Leading Para-Swimming programme is about to be realized.

Humm expects that not only will Crichton’s coaching have an impact on Sophie Pascoe’s potential to deliver gold medals in Rio but will also impact on development coaches and their athletes at future Paralympic Games.

Roly says, “I am thrilled to be a full time coach with PNZ and am really looking forward to being able to focus 100% on my coaching.” He continues, “This role will allow me to provide increased coaching support to Sophie and also enable me to input into the larger Para-Swimming programme and the athletes within it.”

Roly’s duties will predominantly involve leading Sophie Pascoe’s campaign through to Rio including the provision of pool deck coaching. In addition to this Roly will provide support to the PNZ Head Performance Coach and the yet to be appointed Para-Swimming National Development Coach. This support will include coach and athlete mentoring and provision of coach support at camps and competitions.

Roly commences in his new role immediately.

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

   

11 June 2014
Shooting team announced for top international event
With just 37 days to go until 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships, Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is thrilled to announce their team to compete at the event being held in Suhl, Germany from 19 – 26 July.

The team will be lead by Paralympic Bronze medallist Michael Johnson. Michael has only just returned from Poland where he had an outstanding performance at the World Cup event winning a silver medal.

Johnson has been named amongst nine international athletes by the International Paralympic Committee as the ‘Ones to Watch’ for this event. He has set his targets for this event and says, “It would be really great to win two medals, but I know it will be challenging with the high level of competition from around the world.”

Michael will be joined by experienced shooters Greg Reid and Grant Philip who have represented New Zealand in the past.

PNZ High Performance Director Malcolm Humm says, “This is a small but high quality team and one that is full of experience.. Michael Johnson is a world leader in Para-Shooting having medalled at the last 3 Paralympic Games. His experience and knowledge has filtered through to other Para-Shooting athletes, this being no more evident than seeing the quality performances of Greg and Grant over the past 18 months at IPC Shooting World Cups."

 

Athletes

Event

 Location

Michael Johnson

R5 Air Rifle Prone

Waiuku

 

R4 Air Rifle Standing

 

Greg Reid

R3 Air Rifle Prone

Wellington

 

R6 50m Rifle Prone

 

Grant Philip

R5 Air Rifle Prone

Christchurch

 

R4 Air Rifle Standing

 

Support staff

 

 

 Emily Smith

Team Manager

Auckland 

Lynda O’Cain

Loader

Auckland

Jill Phillip

Loader/Carer

Christchurch

Colin Phillip

Loader/Carer

Christchurch

 

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

   

19 May 2014
Record number of Para-Swimmers at Talent Identification Camp
Following three months of searching around the country, 21 of New Zealand best new and developing Para-Swimmers were invited to attend Paralympics New Zealand’s (PNZ) annual Talent Identification Swim Camp held in Silverdale, Auckland over the weekend.

This year’s swim camp had a major focus on Para-Swimmers in the S1 to S5 classifications, and doubled as key part of the PNZ Express Lane Programme, which has been funded by the IPC Agitos Foundation.

The swimmers were treated to an inspirational talk by Paralympian Mary Fisher, who shared with the group her swimming experiences since her outstanding performance at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The swim camp was lead by Josh South (Timaru) a highly experienced coach at Talent Identification level and Gary Francis (Auckland) who is coach to Paralympian Rebecca Dubber. They were supported by a team of four club coaches.

The camp included coaching and advice; pool sessions; classification opportunities; and information on the Para-Swimming Pathway.

PNZ Talent Identification Manager Hadleigh Pierson says, “We were thrilled with the record number of Para-Swimmers at the Camp.” He continues, “We have worked hard as part of the PNZ Express Lane Programme to increase the number of people with a significant physical impairment involved in Para-Swimming.”

 

Attendees included:

Waiheke Island:

Charlotte Cleverley-Bisman

Auckland:

Tupou Neiufi, Olivia Upston, Jaden Movold, Mekyle Govender, Peter Konings, Sarah Colquhoun, Paddy Walsh, Sionann Murphy, Cody Matthews, Harry Randall

Whakatane:

Olivia Hay

   

Napier:

Kate McKelvie

Wellington:

Ross Livingstone, Amy Noble

Christchurch:

George Adam, Ieuan Edwards, Celyn Edwards, Mikaela Singleton

Queenstown:

Ella Macbeth

Wanaka:

Kylie Pilkinton

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

   

15 May 2014
Solid performance for New Zealand Para-Cyclists in Italy
The New Zealand Para-Cycling team competed at the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup in Italy last week with the team of 10 Para-Cyclists performing well in a competitive event that included 298 athletes.

The stand out performance was undoubtedly on Day 1 of the competition with the tandem pairing of Emma Foy and Laura Fairweather winning a silver medal in the Time Trial. The Road Race proved to be the most successful event for the tandem of Phillipa Gray and Kylie Young taking 4th place.

London Paralympian Fiona Southorn had strong results placing 4th in both the Time Trial and Road Race.

It was her London team mate Sue Reid, that lead the way amongst the trio of NZ Hand-Cyclists placing 5th and 4th in the Time Trial and Road Race respectively.

Brendon Cameron (PNZ Bike Head Performance Coach) says, “The World Cup was a good opportunity for the team to have a mid-season hit out and collect some UCI points that help qualify for Rio 2016 Paralympic slots. Although some athletes were straight off the back of the Track World Champs last month in Mexico and a little short on road miles, they still were able to be competitive and bring home a Silver medal.” He continues, “The athletes will now have a short break before re-setting their sights on the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Champs in Greenville, South Carolina in August.”

Results for 2014 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup:

Date

Name

Event

Classification

Result

9 May

Shane Blows

Sue Reid

Tiffiney Perry

15 km Time Trial – Hand Cyclist

H4

H4

H3

17th

5th

8th

 

Fiona Southorn

15 km Time Trial

C5

4th

 

Emma Foy & Laura Fairweather

Phillipa Gray & Kylie Young

Amanda Cameron and Gabrielle Vermunt

30 km Time Trial - Women B

BW (Tandems)

Silver

 6th

 10th

10 May

Shane Blows

Sue Reid

Tiffiney Perry

Road Race – Hand Cyclist

H4

H4

H3

27th

4th

7th

11 May

Shane Blows

Sue Reid

Tiffiney Perry

Team Relay – Hand Cyclist

H4

H4

H3

9th

 

Fiona Southorn

Road Race

C5

4th

 

Emma Foy & Laura Fairweather

Phillipa Gray & Kylie Young

Amanda Cameron and Gabrielle Vermunt

Road Race - Women B

BW (Tandems)

7th

 4th

 10th

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

   

9 May 2014
Junior Disability Games
The Junior Disability Games took place at St Peter's School in Cambridge over ANZAC weekend with seventy six disabled young people competing in nine different sports.

These Games evolved from the Independence Games, which were first held in 1992 and have seen many Paralympic athletes get their start in disability sports. Following a review of the 2013 Independence Games, the Independence Games Trust made changes to both the format and event criteria in order to improve the delivery of the Games. The most notable changes were the name change to Junior Disability Games and the move to design the Games for physically disabled young people (including visually impaired) from 2014 onwards.


The Halberg Disability Sport Foundation has become an important partner to the Games and played a major role in the delivery of this quality sporting event for disabled young people from all over New Zealand.


Many elite New Zealand sports people were present at the Games and the young athletes benefited from their expert advice. Professional cyclist Alison Shanks attended Para Cycling, Waikato Athletics were present at the Athletics, Halberg kept the Wheelchair Basketball running smoothly, and Rowing New Zealand, Waka Ama, Tri NZ, Swimming New Zealand and Boccia New Zealand attended their respective sports. Water Safety NZ was also present to teach vital water safety skills to participants.

The event was made possible thanks to the many volunteers who got involved through Parafed Waikato, Sport Waikato's Kiwisport Leadership programme and the Cambridge community. St Peter's School proved to be a fantastic location with their many great sporting venues and top rate accommodation.

It was outstanding to see so many disabled young people getting involved in a broad range of sports, often for the first time. A great time was had by all and many connections were made by both athletes and families. We hope that these Games will be the start of many physically disabled young people's sporting pathway.

"The foundation and future direction of the Junior Disability Games has truly been laid down at the 2014 games. The sport delivery by all sporting organisations involved in the Games was of the highest professional level, and exceeded all my expectations" (Stephen Jennings - Independence Games Trust Chairman).

Trophies Awarded 2014
Triathlon - 1st Individual Senior Julie Sadlier - Aoraki Aces
Triathlon - 1st Team Senior Otis Horne, Kate McKelvie, Aaron Smith
Boccia Ethan Colquhoun (Hawkes Bay) and Quintessa Schoknecht (Aoraki Aces)
Athletics -Field Overall Best Performance Jacob Phillips - Waikato
Athletics - Track Overall Best Performance Libby Leikis - Wellington
Track Relay Winner Aoraki Aces
Swimming - Overall Best Performance Callum Rae
Overall Team Trophy Hawkes Bay
Best All Round Performance Liam Melvin - Hawkes Bay
Fair Play Award Tony Chadwick-White - Hawkes Bay
Basketball - Tournament MVP Johnathon Brownjohn - Taranaki
Basketball - Tournament Winners Auckland
Waka Ama - best distance of 129m Aaron Smith - Hawkes Bay

 - Halberg Disability Sport Foundation

 

   

5 May 2014
Para-Swimming National Development Coach
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is thrilled to announce the team selected for the 2014 Pan-Pacific Para-Swimming Championships in California, USA from 6 – 10 August.

Five of the nine strong team had outstanding performances at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships and contributed to the biggest medal haul by a NZ Para-Swimming team ever at such an event, 15 medals in total.

The team is headlined by Paralympic stars Sophie Pascoe and Mary Fisher – multi medal winners and world record holders. They are joined by fellow Paralympian and world record holder Nikita Howarth. Both Pascoe and Howarth will be joining the team after competing at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The team also welcomes the return of Paralympian Rebecca Dubber to the international swimming scene after a short break.
The four Paralympians will be joined by 2013 team member Jesse Reynolds. Reynolds will be looking to build on his first international experience at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in August.

Four exciting additions to the team are newcomers Georgia Gray, Tayla Clement, Daniel Gaualofa and Chris Arbuthnott. These Para-Swimmers will all make their international debut and look to build on their national experience.

PNZ Head Swim Performance Coach Jon Shaw says, “We are very excited about this team as we believe we have a great depth of experience and enthusiasm.” He continues, “The size of this team really shows the work that been going on behind the scenes with the NZ Para-Swimming programme and we are looking to this event to provide a great testing ground to see where our performances sit on the international stage. We believe we have a high chance of success following on from recent results at the NZ Open Swimming Championships.”

Full team list includes:

Sophie Pascoe

Christchurch

Mary Fisher

Wellington

Rebecca Dubber

North Shore

Nikita Howarth

Cambridge

Jesse Reynolds

Hamilton

Georgia Gray

London

Tayla Clement

Auckland

Daniel Gaualofa

Kerikeri

Chris Arbuthnott

Palmerston North

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

   

24 April 2014
Attitude to feature Para-Canoeist Scott Martlew on Sunday 27 April
In 2010, 17-year-old Scott Martlew had everything going for him - a bright student and successful rugby player. But a blow to his leg during a rugby match left him fighting for his life. As his body tried to fight off bacteria in his blood, his condition deteriorated.

His leg was amputated to save his life.

Four years on and Scott is competing against top able-bodied canoeists and he's well on his way to representing New Zealand in para-canoeing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
 

To see a preview click here

 

- Attitude Pictures 

 

23 April 2014
Athletes with limb deficiency - By Jake Pearson, PNZ Medical Director
Paralympics New Zealand Medical Director Jake Pearson, writes for the New Zealand Journal of Sports Medicine about athletes with limb deficiency:

 

Introduction
Disabled sport continues to grow in popularity and profile, with the Paralympic Games now attracting major media coverage and sponsorship, and grassroots participation increasing.

Paralympic athletes experience many of the same injuries and illnesses as able-bodied athletes, however they are potentially vulnerable to additional and unique problems. It is recognised that many sports medicine providers will encounter athletes with disabilities relatively infrequently, and thus the aim of this and subsequent articles is to summarise key injury and illness considerations when consulting athletes with a disability, in order to facilitate successful and rewarding assessment and treatment.

The first of these articles considers medical issues for athletes with limb deficiency.

True or False?
1 The most common cause of limb deficiency in athletes is amputation due a metabolic condition such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease.

2 Verrucus hyperplasia occurring in the stump of an amputee is thought to be related to an underlying viral infection.

3 Athletes with lower limb deficiency have an increased incidence of osteoarthritis in the knee of the contralateral limb.

Medical Considerations for Athletes with Limb Deficiency
Limb deficiency in athletes is most commonly either congenital or posttraumatic, and more occasionally secondary to a metabolic condition (e.g. diabetes or peripheral vascular disease) or amputation related to a neoplasm or severe infectious disease. The level of the amputation tends to correlate closely with the degree of subsequent dysfunction and disability, and the prosthesis that will be most suitable.

Article continues click here for full text with images.

 

- New Zealand Journal of Sports Medicine - Jake Pearson

 

  

14 April 2014
Inspirational performance by New Zealand Para-Cyclists in Mexico
The New Zealand Para-Cycling team wrapped up the last two days of the UCI Track World Championships with further outstanding performances and winning a total of five medals. The athletes were pushed to the limit not only racing at altitude, but with Velodrome temperatures tipping 40 degrees.

Day 3 (13 April NZ Time) saw two Kiwi athletes compete, Fiona Southorn and Kate Horan. Both were competing in the Women’s Individual Pursuit; Fiona in the C5 and Kate in the C4. Both riders qualified for Bronze Medal rides however both finished 4th in their respective races.

The final and fourth day of competition (14 April NZ Time) was all about the tandems. Emma Foy/Laura Fairweather and Phillipa Gray/Kylie Young competed in the 250m Sprint. This is a non-Paralympic Event however valuable UCI Points are on offer which contribute to athlete slots for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Gray/Young were first up and although putting up a satisfactory time did not make the top 8 and a ¼ final berth. In contrast Foy/Fairweather finished 4th in the qualification round and earned themselves an opportunity to make the semi-finals later in the day.

The Foy/Fairweather tandem pairing came up against the Japanese pairing in the ¼ final. This is a best of three series and although the Kiwi girls won the first heat they were beaten in the sprint in the second heat. The decider was a close event however New Zealand had too much power and were to go into the semi final against the favoured British tandem. The British tandem beat the Kiwi girls in the first two heats so we were up against the Dutch girls for the bronze medal ride off. However after the Dutch tandem team slammed the Australians into the fence at high speed they were disqualified leaving Foy/Fairweather to take the bronze.

New Zealand’s medal tally:
Foy/Fairweather     1 Gold & 1 Bronze
Gray/Young              1 Silver & 1 Bronze
Kate Horan               1 Silver

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

  

12 April 2014
Fisher earns reward for year of swimming brilliance
Wellington Paralympic star Mary Fisher was awarded the Swimmer of the Year with a Disability at Swimming NZ Awards on Saturday following a brilliant 2013 season winning five gold medals and one silver at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal.

 

The Awards followed a successful national championship, which doubled as the official trial for the XX Commonwealth Games.

Auckland swimmer Lauren Boyle was rewarded for her outstanding performances over the past 12 months winning four major awards including the overall Swimmer of the Year.

The 26 year old won three medals at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona and by year’s end was ranked third in the world over 800m freestyle and sixth over 400m long course, and second in the world over both distances short course.

Accordingly the United club swimmer was awarded the international long course swimmer of the year, the national swimmer of the year and the Billie Fitzsimmons Cup for individual international performance of the year as well as the overall Swimming of the Year.

Looking to the future junior world champion Gabrielle Fa’auausili and Wellington’s Emma Robinson shared the award for emerging swimmer of the year, while Cara Baker is the open water swimmer of the year.

North Shore was the top performance club while Taranaki featured with two awards – Okato was awarded the community club of the year and Stratford’s Clive Wheeler the club coach of the year.

Learn to swim was recognised with Christchurch City Council awarded the Quality Swim School of the Year and Makara Model School in Wellington the State Kiwi Swim Safe school of the year.

Those out of the pool were acknowledged with Christchurch’s Lesley Huckins the technical official of the year and Wellington’s Mark Berge awarded volunteer of the year for his work with the regional performance centre.

The full list of awards for 2013 is:
Emerging Swimmer: Emma Robinson (Capital, Wellington) and Gabrielle Fa’amausili (Roskill, Auckland).
International long course swimmer: Lauren Boyle (United, Auckland).
National swimmer: Lauren Boyle.
Open water swimmer: Cara Baker.
Swimmer with a disability: Mary Fisher (Capital, Wellington)
Relay team: Men 4x100m medley (Gareth Kean, Glenn Snyders, Shaun Burnett, Matthew Stanley)
Performance club: North Shore
Community club: Okato (Taranaki)
Volunteer: Mark Berge (Wellington)
Technical official: Lesley Huckins (Canterbury)
Quality swim school: Christchurch City Council (Swimsmart/Swinsafe)
State Kiwi Swim Safe School: Makara Model School (Wellington)
NZ Masters Swimmer: Richard Lockhart
People’s choice: Gabrielle Fa’amausili
Club coach: Clive Wheeler (Stratford, Taranaki)
Performance coach: David Lyles (SNZ, Auckland)
Best individual international performance (Billie Fitzsimmons Club): Lauren Boyle
Swimming New Zealand Swimmer of the Year: Lauren Boyle..

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

 

11 April 2014
Medals aplenty for New Zealand Para-Cyclists in Mexico
New Zealand Para-Cycling team had the full contingent of 6 athletes (4 bikes) competing today at the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Mexico.

Cyclists were pushed to the limit not only racing at altitude, but with Velodrome temperatures tipping 400C. New Zealand had two tandems racing on this the first day of competition. Pairings Emma Foy and Laura Fairweather (Sighted Pilot) and Phillipa Gray and Kylie Young (Sighted Pilot). Both tandems had been training well under the coaching tutelage of Brendon Cameron, without any international Para-Cycling Track events since the London 2012 Paralympic Games expectations were moderate. The tandem duo of Foy and Fairweather were the first of the Kiwis to compete in the Women’s B 3km Pursuit and left no one in doubt of their intentions and performance capabilities by smashing the existing World Record held by Phillipa Gray and Laura Fairweather by 8 seconds. The English tandem who were always going to be a threat attempted to match this but fell short only to leave Phillipa Gray and Kylie Young with the opportunity to ride off for a medal later in the day. They had a superb ride beating the English tandem out of 2nd place meaning the two New Zealand Tandems would ride off later in the evening for Gold (Rainbow Jersey) and Silver; quite a feat!

In the final of the Women’s tandem Foy & Fairweather lined up against Gray & Young. Although the first 4 laps were close Foy & Fairweather started to gradually move ahead eventually winning by a comfortable margin and breaking their own World Record they had set only a few hours earlier.

Not to be overshadowed Prior debutant and talent transfer athlete Kate Horan competed in the Women’s C5 Sprint Straight Final. Kate who is coached by Jono Hailstone was coming into the event an unknown however there was quietly confident in the days leading up to the race. This was to be realised with Kate putting in a superb ride to finish second and take home a Silver medal at her first major event – a World Championships.

Fiona Southorn was the other NZ athlete to compete – she did not figure in the finish of the Women’s C5 500m TT however this is not a key event for her. She will race on Sunday in the 3km Pursuit, the event with which she won silver in London.

A great start to the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships with New Zealand having 4 bikes racing and winning one Gold, one World Record and two Silver medals.
 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

 

11 April 2014
Powerful Swimming Team Named for Glasgow 2014
New Zealand will boast a powerful 16 strong swimming team for the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, announced tonight by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

The team includes six swimmers who qualified in individual events – four able bodied and two para swimmers – and three relay teams. They comprise the men’s and women’s 4x200m freestyle relays and women’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay.

This compares to the 12-strong team for Delhi in 2010 which brought home six medals.

The team is led by triple world championship medallist Lauren Boyle and five-time Paralympic gold medallist Sophie Pascoe. Boyle qualified in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle and as a member of the 4x200m freestyle relay, while Pascoe, who won six IPC world titles last year, will contest the 200m individual medley.

“We are delighted to have selected the 16 athletes for Glasgow 2014,” said New Zealand Olympic Committee President Mike Stanley, who was at the New Zealand National Open Championships to name the team tonight. “We look forward to seeing them excel at one of New Zealand’s favourite sporting events and have no doubt that Glasgow will be a significant milestone as they progress through to Rio 2016.”

Two para-swimmers earned selection in Pascoe and Te Awamutu teen Nikita Howarth who won six medals between them at last year’s IPC World Championships.

“I am thrilled that Sophie and Nikita have been selected as part of the team for Glasgow 2014,” says Jon Shaw, PNZ Head Performance Coach for Para-Swimming.

“The Commonwealth Games provides the opportunity for these two inspirational Para-Swimmers to compete in a fully inclusive swimming event as they build towards Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.”

Swimming New Zealand High Performance Director, Luis Villanueva said that the swimmers who have earned selection have produced a standard to be competitive in Glasgow.

“Our qualifying standard was challenging but fair as we look to develop swimmers who can compete at the highest levels on the world stage,” Villanueva said.

“The team is built around the nucleus of swimmers who went to the world championships last year and with further hard work in the next 14 weeks I believe they all have the capability of being contenders for medals in Glasgow.”

The team includes those who competed at London 2012 comprising Boyle, Pascoe, Glenn Snyders, Matt Stanley, Tash Hind, Samantha Lucie-Smith, Steven Kent and Dylan Dunlop-Barrett. Added to this are swimmers who competed in last year’s world championship - Emma Robinson, Samantha Lee, Mitchell Donaldson and Howarth.

The newcomers are Howick Pakuranga teenager Corey Main, currently on scholarship at Florida University, Ewan Jackson (Howick Pakuranga) and, competing in the 4x100m freestyle relay, Laura Quilter (North Shore, Auckland) 4 x 100m freestyle relay and Ellen Quirke (Capital, Wellington).

Lee and Jackson were included under the provision of a fifth swimmer for each of the two qualified 4x200m freestyle relays, after their times, added to the fastest three swimmers, was still under the qualifying mark.

New Zealand has a strong history of swimming, winning a two silver medals at the 1930 Edmonton (Canada) British Empire Games, the forerunner to the Commonwealth Games.

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games take place 23 July – 3 August. New Zealand will have around 200 athletes at the games, competing in all 17 sports on the programme. Selections will be finalised in June.

The team is (and events in which they qualified):

• Lauren Boyle (United, Auckland) 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay
• Mitchell Donaldson (North Shore, Auckland) 4x200m freestyle
• Dylan-Dunlop Barrett (Coast, Auckland) 4x200m freestyle relay
• Tash Hind (Capital, Wellington) 4x200m freestyle relay
• Nikita Howarth (Te Awamutu, Waikato) para S8 100m freestyle
• Ewan Jackson (Howick Pakuranga, Counties Manukau) 4x200m freestyle relay
• Steven Kent (Coast, Auckland) 4x200m freestyle relay
• Samantha Lee (Capital, Wellington) 4x200m freestyle relay, 4 x 100 freestyle relay
• Samantha Lucie-Smith (Capital, Wellington) 4x200m freestyle relay, 4 x 100 freestyle relay
• Corey Main (Howick-Pakuranga, Counties Manukau) 100m backstroke
• Sophie Pascoe (QEII, Canterbury) para S10 100m individual medley
• Laura Quilter (North Shore, Auckland) 4 x 100m freestyle relay
• Ellen Quirke (Capital, Wellington) 4 x 100m freestyle relay
• Emma Robinson (Capital, Wellington) 4x200m freestyle relay
• Matthew Stanley (Matamata, Waikato) 400m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay
• Glenn Snyders (North Shore, Auckland) 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke

Note that swimmers may swim in other events for the Commonwealth Games.

 

- New Zealand Olympic Committee

 

 

10 April 2014
Cycling stars kick off at top international Para-Cycling event this week
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is looking forward to further exciting Para-Sport activity this week as the New Zealand Para-Cycling team compete in the 2014 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Mexico from 10 – 13 April.

The small, but talented group of six athletes includes a number highly experienced cyclists and new tandem combinations.

The team is headlined by Paralympic medallists Fiona Southorn and tandem cyclists Phillipa Gray and Laura Fairweather (sighted pilot). Phillipa and Laura took the trifecta at the London 2012 Paralympic Games with outstanding performances that included a world record. Fiona won bronze in the 3km Pursuit and was New Zealand’s first medallist in London.

This is the first World Track Championships since the London 2012 Paralympics and the gap year has given the opportunity for some experimentation within the tandem combinations. Phillipa Gray will take to the bike in the new pairing with pilot Kylie Young, who was formerly the pilot for well-known Para-Cyclist Jayne Parsons. While Laura creates an equally strong team with rookie stoker Emma Foy. Emma burst on the scene in August last year winning a Bronze medal at the Road World Championships in her first year of racing.

The sixth member of the team is one that is very familiar within Paralympic sport. Former Paralympic track star and silver medallist (2008) Kate Horan recently moved into cycling two years ago and is very excited about competing her first World Championships.

The team will be lead by Head Performance Coach - Brendon Cameron. He says, “We are quietly confident about this team as we believe we have prepared very wisely for these Championships being held at altitude.” He continues “This event was announced very late in the annual calendar and with host city of Aguascalientes being set at 1880m above sea level we had a very short time to develop a specific altitude training program. Over the last five weeks we used some unique New Zealand resources that we’ve never used before including the Snow Farm in Wanaka and Altitude simulation labs throughout the country”.

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

 

8 April 2014
Paralympic medallist hangs up his goggles
Triple Paralympic medallist Daniel Sharp has brought an end to his outstanding Para-Swimming career.

The 26 year old visually impaired swimmer won three Paralympic medals (two silver and one bronze) in consecutive Games at Athens in 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

He placed fourth in the 100m breaststroke in last year’s IPC Swimming World Championships which proved to be his final international meeting before retirement.

In recent times Sharp, coached throughout his career by Simon Mayne, split his time between Auckland and his current residence of Hamilton.

He started swimming when his parents enrolled him in lessons at a young age. It was not until Sharp attended a Blind Sport competition in 2003 that Para-Sport became an option.

Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) thanks Daniel for his inspirational performances and ongoing professionalism. PNZ wishes Daniel all the best for his future endeavours.

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

 

4 April 2014
Para-Swimming National Development Coach
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is responsible for delivering the New Zealand Paralympic High Performance and Development Swimming Programme. The programme has enjoyed great success over the past five years at Paralympic Games delivering six of New Zealand’s twelve medals at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games then building on this success to deliver twelve of New Zealand’s seventeen medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. In more recent times the programme recently won twelve gold medals at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships.

With this success PNZ has experienced a significant growth of Para-Swimmers throughout New Zealand and it is with excitement that due the growth of the programme PNZ will employ a full time Para-Swimming National Development Coach.

For more information about the role please click here

To apply please send your CV and application to esmith@paralympics.org.nz. Applications close 5pm Friday 25 April 2014.

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

 

17 March 2014
Welcome the athletes home at Auckland Airport:
Our Sochi 2014 Paralympians are coming home. Look out for them and make some noise at Auckland International Airport.

Carl Murphy  – 14:00 Tuesday 25 March, QF8764.
Corey Peters – 05:45 Wednesday 26 March. Departs Auckland 9.10am, flight
NZ5233 to New Plymouth 

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

 

17 March 2014
Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games deemed a success for New Zealand team

As the curtain falls on a spectacular Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games the three-strong Kiwi team can look back with immense pride on winning a silver medal and grabbing a trio of fourth place finishes to prove that they can compete with the world's elite.

The Games were unquestionably a rip roaring success as more than 300,000 tickets were sold for the ten-day extravaganza – eclipsing the 230,000 sold in Vancouver four years ago, the previous Paralympic Winter Games record.

TV and online coverage reached an unprecedented high for the 11th edition of the quadrennial event as millions were left spellbound by the thrilling action in which more than 500 athletes battled for 72 sets of medals across five sports.

A small but gifted New Zealand team came into Sochi with high expectations led by Adam Hall, the defending Men’s Slalom Standing champion and supported by Carl Murphy, one the world’s leading Snowboard Cross riders – a sport making its Paralympic debut.

Yet it was to be Corey Peters, the third and least experienced of the triumvirate, who was to prove the star of the team delivering a stunning silver medal in the Men’s Giant Slalom Sitting – the final event on the programme to involve a Kiwi athlete.

A target of two gold medals had been set for the New Zealand team in Russia, and but for a combination of injury, illness and rank bad luck in all likelihood they would have achieved their goal.

Adam was desperate to defend the Men’s Slalom Standing title he memorably won four years ago in Vancouver, however, an ill-timed stomach bug on the day of his specialist event badly hampered his chances and the Wanaka-based athlete had to settle for seventh.

He bounced back some 24 hours later for the delayed second run of the Super Combined and almost salvaged a medal from the Games, with a brave super-G performance - but finished just 0.22 shy of bronze to take fourth.

A philosophical Adam expressed disappointment at just missing out on a medal but pride in the way he performed in challenging circumstances.

“I’ve been happy with my level of performances, I had high hopes of winning a medal in all events and to not win a medal is disappointing but sometimes that’s ski racing,” adds Adam, who DNF'd in his other event the Super-G.

“The organisers have done a great job to maintain the course and make sure the events have gone ahead,” he adds. “The whole Games have been a great experience. It has been a great challenge to try and get on the podium, I’ve really enjoyed it and I will try to improve in the future.”

Carl, whose preparations were badly compromised after suffering a fractured a knee and partially ruptured LCL in a December training accident, was always likely to be a little undercooked coming into what was his first competition of the season and so it proved.

Despite a two solid runs he finished a little way down on the three US podium fillers and had to settle for fourth in the Men’s Snowboard Cross

The Lake Hawea resident who grew up in New Plymouth refused to use the injury as an excuse for his performance and adds: “The chance to represent my country at the highest level is a huge honour that I don’t take lightly. I'm out of the podium, but it’s still fourth place in the world at the highest level. I’m sure once I get back and reflect on it it’s going to be one of those experiences I’ll never forget.

“All the people around the resort, the volunteers, the athletes from the other nations and their coaches have been super-friendly. Having my family here to watch me on the biggest stage – even though I didn’t finish where I would have wanted – was very special.”

Yet the main plaudits should be reserved for Corey, who only started competitive ski racing in 2011. After a classy first run in the Men's Giant Slalom - which gave him a 0.53 advantage on his nearest pursuers - the New Plymouth-raised but Wanaka-based sit-skier kept his nerve on the second run to secure an outstanding silver medal.

It had been some Paralympic debut for Corey, who belied his world ranking to also record a fourth place finish in the Super Combined, sixth spot in the Super-G and a DNF in the Slalom – his least favoured event.

“I’m pretty blown away,” he said of taking a silver medal. “To be at my first Paralympics and come away with a podium...talk about leaving the best until to last. I’m really stoked with my achievement.”

Peters, who was given the honour of carrying the New Zealand flag for the Closing Ceremony, describes his whole Paralympic experience as “overwhelming” and he will cherish his Sochi memories.

“It’s been amazing seeing all these nations come together and unite,” he explains. “A highlight for me was the Opening Ceremony knowing potentially millions of people were watching me on TV. Coming out into the arena with the Silver Fern on my chest must be a similar feeling to what an All Black experiences when they run out on to the pitch.”

Paralympics New Zealand Chief Executive Fiona Allan viewed the Games as an unmitigated success and another major step forward for the Paralympic movement.

She insists the standard of Paralympic competition continues to rise and consequently was delighted with the way the New Zealand team acquitted themselves.

“Our Winter Paralympians have performed exceptionally well in Sochi,” she explains. “Corey Peters blitzed it to take silver in the Giant Slalom. Yet the whole team have done a stunning job and I have been extremely proud of all of them both on and off the slopes.”

 

- Paralympics New Zealand
 

 

16 March 2014
Corey Peters wins Silver medal in Sochi - Corey Peters Interview - Ashley Light Interview

New Zealand sit skier Corey Peters returned to the slopes of the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre on Saturday for the NZ team’s final event of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. Having performed well above his world ranking with a sixth place finish in Super-G and a fourth in the Super-Combined, Corey Peters was looking for his best performance yet in his favoured event, the Giant Slalom.

The Giant Slalom (GS) features wider, but fewer turns than the Slalom. Medal places are contested over two runs but a skier must successfully finish their first run to qualify for the second. Corey Peters was the third racer to start in men’s sitting class.
World number one Switzerland’s Christoph Kunz and Canada's Josh Dueck, winner of the previous day’s Super-Combined, were picked as names to watch.

First sit-skier to race, Austrian Roman Rabl set the time to beat of 1:18.87 but the Kiwi flew calmly past, claiming the top spot with his time of 1:18.10. And there Corey Peters remained at the end of run one. Josh Dueck had crashed out, Christoph Kunz sat close on Corey’s heels, 0.53 off the pace with Roman Rabl 0.77 back in third and world number two Georg Kreiter 1.06 off the lead in fourth.

The podium felt tantalizingly close but the pressure would be on. In a sport where even the slightest mistake can mean failure to reach the finish gates, Corey would have to make it home with another exceptionally fast time to guarantee a medal.

The second course was set and racing got underway for run two. In alpine ski racing the top 15 racers from run one start in reverse order, so Corey would be the last racer to start.

Fourth placed skier from run one, Georg Kreiter took a tumble after catching an edge putting him out of the running. Roman Rabl followed next with a no holds barred approach, speeding down the course managing to hold on to every high speed bump and turn. Christoph Kunz followed with a more conservative style but was fast enough to take the lead.

Last to take to the course and with a Paralympic medal on the line, Corey Peters laid down another convincing run, speeding through the finish gates 0.47 off the leader and fast enough to claim the silver medal.

“I’m pretty blown away really,” exclaimed Corey after the race. “To be at my first Paralympics and come away with a podium… Talk about leave the best to last. I’m really stoked with my achievement.

“You can never really expect the podium at this level but I knew I skied well yesterday and it was just a matter of getting a good night’s sleep and repeating it the following day which I’ve definitely done.

“Giant Slalom is the event I’ve had the most success with this season so it’s definitely my strongest event and I was confident coming into it knowing I can ski as fast as these guys.”

Corey described his first experience of the Paralympic Winter Games as “phenomenal. It makes it even more special coming away with a medal. Even if I didn’t have a medal I’d still be stoked but this is just the icing on the cake.”

Chef de Mission Ashley Light praised Corey’s achievement calling it “an outstanding result.”

“The guys have kept us on edge all week but all the hard work has come to fruition at last.

“Expectations for Corey were top 10 and for him to go and get that silver medal is just a fantastic result.

“Everyone was feeling really confident after yesterday’s result in Super-G. Corey especially just knew what he had in him and just put down the most amazing first run to put himself in contention. We’re absolutely thrilled for him.”
 

- Paralympics New Zealand
 

 

15 March 2014
Fourth places for Adam Hall and Corey Peters in Super-Combined - Adam Hall Interview - Corey Peters Interview

Following a long wait, the Super-G component of the Paralympic Super-Combined event finally got underway at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics Winter Games on Friday. The weather had played havoc with the competition schedule on Tuesday and race organisers had been forced to split the Super-Combined over two days, the Slalom completed on Tuesday but racers having to wait until Friday to contest the Super G.

New Zealand’s Adam Hall would come into tonight’s competition in fourth place in the men's Super-Combined Standing class. The Super-Combined event includes both the technical discipline of Slalom and the Speed discipline of Super-G. Adam’s speciality is the Slalom; only time would tell whether he could put together a strong enough finish in the speed race to lift himself into medal contention. Working against him were the lasting effects of a stomach complaint which had seen him struggle through the previous day’s Slalom race and finish outside the coveted medal spots.

On the men's Super-Combined standing leaderboard, Russia's Alexey Bugaev would start the Super-G in first with a slalom time of 50.30 while Canada's Braydon Luscombe sat in second with a time of 52.17 and Austria's Matthias Lanzinger in third after logging a 52.43. Adam Hall had a starting time of 53.00.

Adam was the 12th racer to start and looked strong and fast through his run, posting a combined time of 2:14.36 to put him into second spot 0.22s behind Australian Toby Kane. Matthias Lanzinger followed hot on the Kiwi’s heels with a faster time to bump Adam into third place.

Canada’s Braydon Luscombe was the penultimate skier to race and crashed midway through the course. New Zealand was in with a chance at the medals but everything would rest on the Russian skier Alexey Bugaev, still to come and already with four medals from four races at the Sochi games.

Seemingly unbeatable, the Russian once again flew home to take the win in front of the home crowd, leaving Adam Hall in fourth place.

Men’s standing class super-combined Paralympic medals went to:
1: Alexey Bugaev (RUS) 2: Matthias Lanzinger (AUT) 3: Toby Kane (AUS)

“It definitely has been an interesting week,” reflected Adam Hall after the race. “I guess I can say honestly, my personal goals were to medal in all three events. I threw one of the chances away on the first Super-G day when I was ahead at the splits so close to the finish and came out. I was really happy on that day. I skied really well, out of my skin. To finish up short was disappointing but at the same time I almost kind of feel like I won a medal because I was skiing well and skiing in a medal contention event which for me was amazing in the Super-G.

“Today I felt really good, I wasn’t really struggling but I just had to put down another great run and I was a little bit slower than the other day. I wasn’t as clean as I was the other day and maybe that came down to a little bit of fatigue. To be two tenths off the podium in Super-Combined after my slalom run the other day, I’m really happy with my result today. I had a good chance at being on the podium today and I just fell short. To still be in the mix and to be not far off the podium to me is a good feeling.”

In the Sitting class, Austria's Roman Rabl would start the Super-G holding strong atop the leaderboard with a time of 58.71. Germany's Thomas Nolte was in second with a time of 59.25 and Austria's Philipp Bonadimanni in third, having clocked a 59.42.

New Zealand’s Corey Peters had put together an exceptional performance in the Super-Combined Slalom on Tuesday bringing home a sixth place finish, well above his current world rankings of 22nd in the Super-Combined and 34th in Slalom. The first time Paralympian favours the speed over the technical disciplines so would look to up his game even further in the Super-G.

With a start position midway through the field Corey flew through his run posting a good time of 2:21.91. With one racer left to go, the New Zealander was sitting in the bronze medal position. Roman Rabl took to the course hoping to maintain his lead from the Slalom stage. His run wasn’t fast enough to do that but it was just enough to bump Corey Peters into fourth.

Coming into the Sochi 2014 Paralympics Corey’s goal had been to achieve a top 10 finish, he was therefore more than happy to finish fourth albeit not a podium spot.

“I’m really stoked with that result. Fourth place is definitely a good achievement for your first Paralympics.”

Men’s sitting class super-combined Paralympic medals would go to:
1: Josh Dueck (CAN) 2: Heath Calhoun (USA) 3:Roman Rabl (AUT)

The final competition of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games for the New Zealand team takes place on Saturday night (NZT) when Corey Peters takes on the Giant Slalom.

“Giant Slalom is my favoured event,” says Corey. “I’m really looking forward to that.”

Going by his recent form, it should be an exciting competition.

 

- Paralympics New Zealand
 

 

14 March 2014
Fourth place for Carl Murphy in Paralympic Snowboard Cross - Click here for audio of an interview

Snowboarding made its Paralympic Winter Games debut in Sochi this evening with New Zealander Carl Murphy proud to be a part of the historic occasion.

Carl, a below-the-knee amputee, competes in the snowboard cross discipline and rides his snowboard with the help of a custom designed carbon fibre prosthetic leg. At the Sochi 2014 Paralympics two medal events would be contested for men and women in the SB LL class which includes athletes with leg impairments.

Snowboard cross takes place on a man-made course constructed from a variety of terrain features like bank turns, various types of jumps and rollers. The race format at the Paralympic Winter Games allows each athlete to complete three runs down the course with their finish time of their best two runs determining the final results. There is only one rider on the course at a time.

Carl Murphy has been dominant in the sport for several years and until recently held a ranking of joint number one in the world. A knee injury in December put him out of action for several weeks meaning that he did not compete in the World Cups leading into the Sochi 2014 Paralympics. Following a period of rehab Carl returned to snow feeling confident in his ability despite some ongoing niggles with the knee.

Ahead of tonight's race USA's Evan Strong and Mike Shea were widely touted as the ones to beat. Strong won the Paralympic Test Event in 2013 at which Carl Murphy won the bronze medal. Fellow American Mike Shea also had potential to provide stiff competition having won the 2013-14 IPCAS Snowboard World Cup overall title last month.

Evan Strong and Mike Shea came out charging, setting times to beat around the 52s mark with their first runs. New Zealand's Carl Murphy put together a solid run but appeared to struggle for speed at times. After the race he explained that the morning's training run had brought another setback.

"I had a crash in training this morning and I think that maybe threw me a little bit. I couldn't quite put it together."

His first run time of 54.62s had him in third place before another American rider Keith Gabel came home in 54.02 relegating the Kiwi to fourth place.

The second run saw Carl post a faster time of 54.48s but with his main rivals also upping the pace Carl would hold on to fourth place. Coming into the third and final run the Kiwi really would have to fly to get in amongst the medals.

"He was pushing hard for a faster time, it was always going to go one way or the other, podium or crash," said Carl's coach Adam Dooney after the race.

The podium it wasn't. Taking a corner too early Carl took a tumble early on the course, falling out of medal contention in the process. His confidence appeared shaken and he fell again on the way to the finish line.

While disappointed by the outcome of his day, Carl said that he was still proud to have had the opportunity to compete at the Paralympic Winter Games particularly given the injury impacted build up.

"The chance to represent my country at the highest level, that's a huge honour that I don't take lightly. It's still fourth place. It's out of the podium but it's still fourth in the world at the highest level. I'm sure once I get back and reflect on it it's going to be one of those experiences you never forget."

Carl Murphy finished in 4th place with the American riders taking a clean sweep of the podium, Evan Strong in the gold medal position, Mike Shea in silver and Keith Gabel bronze.

Competition follows immediately for the New Zealand skiers with Adam Hall and Corey Peters contesting the Super-Combined Super-G shortly after midnight tonight (Friday NZT).

The final competition of the Sochi 2014 Paralympics for the New Zealand team takes place on Saturday night (NZT) when Corey Peters takes on the Giant Slalom.

 

- Paralympics New Zealand
 

 

14 March 2014
Adam Hall affected by stomach complaint, places 7th in Slalom

Fresh spring-like snow welcomed skiers in the men’s Slalom at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre on Thursday night. For New Zealand's Adam Hall, defending gold medallist from the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics, this would be the most anticipated event of the Games so far. Unfortunately he would come into competition severely affected by a stomach complaint and his performance would be compromised.

There was never any doubt that the battle for the top spot would be hard-fought. Adam shares the number one world ranking with three others: France's Vincent Gauthier-Manuel, Austria's Matthias Lanzinger and Russia’s Alexey Bugaev. The Russian skier had placed first in the Slalom component of the Super-Combined event on Tuesday and Austrian Matthias Lanzinger third. The Frenchman Gauthier-Manuel would be eager to get back on the podium after he was third in the downhill and fourth in the super-G.

Adam Hall would need to bring his best performance to the race track to be able to defend his title. Suffering the effects of a stomach upset since Thursday morning he would struggle to find his top form.

The Slalom event is contested over two runs and final placings determined by the combined time. The course is re-set between the first and second runs and racers must successfully finish their first run to be able to start their second.

A factoring system allows Para-Alpine skiers to compete fairly against each other in the same race despite different functional skiing levels and medical issues.
New Zealand’s Corey Peters would also be in the mix in the men’s sitting class. Although his strengths lie in the speed disciplines rather than the technical Slalom, Corey had posted a sixth place finish in the Super-Combined Slalom and would come into this event focused on completing two clean runs.

The pace was blistering from the start, Vincent Gauthier-Manuel and then Alexey Bugaev posting exceptionally fast times in the men’s Standing class. Adam was the 13th racer to start in his class. His run was clean but not fast enough to get near the top. His time put him into seventh place, 3.02s off Bugaev’s lead after run one.

In the sitting class Corey started 28th of 41 skiers in his class. Coming out of the gates with a confident start, he found a decent pace before a mistake brought him almost to a complete stand still. Continuing on he once again picked up his speed to finish in 16th, 7.21s off the leader Dino Sokolovic of Croatia.

With the second course set, run two got underway under floodlights. Adam was the ninth skier to start. Smooth and controlled through the top half Adam made easy work of the first gates where others had struggled; however a slight falter near the end cost him some time. Adam Hall would finish is day in seventh place.

“Adam is obviously hugely disappointed but we are seeking medical advice, both from Russia and New Zealand, and hope that he will be able to make a swift recovery in time for the Super-G tomorrow (Sochi time),” commented Ashley Light (Chef de Mission) after the race.

Paralympic medals in men’s standing class would go to Alexey Bugaev (RUS) winning gold, followed by Vincent Gauthier-Manuel (FRA) and Alexander Alyabyev (RUS).

Corey Peters finished the Slalom with a DNF after skiing out of the course mid-way through his second run. With only 16 of the 41 starters in this class finishing the course it was a challenging day on the snow for the riders.

The next Kiwi in action at the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games will be snowboarder Carl Murphy who takes on the new Paralympic event of Snowboard Cross at 7pm Friday NZT.

Adam Hall and Corey Peters will then contest the Super-G component of the Super-Combined event early on Saturday morning (NZT).

The New Zealand team’s events will be livestreamed on attitudelive.com/paralympics
TVNZ will be the free-to-air broadcast partner providing news, highlight packages and OnDemand content for the duration of the Sochi Games.

The teams schedule is available at - http://www.paralympics.org.nz/Sochischedule.htm
 
 

- Paralympics New Zealand
  

 

12 March 2014
Kiwis battle challenging weather in Super-Combined event - Click here for audio of an interview

Following their promising performances in the Super-G event at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games on Sunday, New Zealand Paralympians Adam Hall and Corey Peters returned to the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre on Tuesday ready for action in the Super-combined event. Their first challenge, however, would be the weather. With rain and fog reducing visibility on course, competitors waited for close to four hours to see if conditions would improve enough to allow the race to start. In its usual format the Super-Combined event involves one run of a Super Giant Slalom (Super-G) course followed by a single run of Slalom on the same day. Times from the two runs are added together to determine the final results based on total time.

Weather conditions in Sochi on Tuesday meant that organisers were forced to change the event format, postponing the Super-G event until Friday but still running the Slalom on Tuesday afternoon (Tuesday night NZT).

The combined event tests a skier's ability to handle both the speed (Super-G) and technical (Slalom) aspects of alpine skiing. With only just enough visibility to see the gates and on a very steep course the skiers’ Slalom skills would be tested to their maximum and the attrition rate would be high. Only those who successfully completed their Slalom run would be able to start the Super-G run.

Para-alpine skiers compete in one of three classifications according to their disability: visually impaired, standing and sitting. New Zealand’s Adam Hall competes in the standing class and holds a current world ranking of 18th in the Super-Combined. Corey Peters competes in the sitting class and is currently ranked 22nd.

Men’s Standing Slalom
Putting behind him the disappointment of a DNF in the Super-G on Sunday Adam was determined to put together two clean runs in the Super-Combined starting out with his strongest discipline, the Slalom.

Holding his line through the rutted course and making a good recovery after a falter on the lower section, Adam finished in a time of 53.00s, 2.7s of the leader, putting him into fourth position.

“It’s obviously really challenging and demanding when things happen like that but I skied to the best of my ability considering the conditions,” said Adam.

The drama behind the super-combined event lies in the fact that the overall winner, with the fastest combined time, is not necessarily the winner of either of the two individual runs. With the speed event still to come there will be plenty of opportunity for a shake-up in the final placings. Adam Hall will be looking to find the speed he displayed in Sunday’s Super-G during which he posted some of the day’s fastest split times.

“The super-combined is designed to find the best overall skier, in speed as well as technical,” explained Chef de Mission Ashley Light after the race. “For Adam to be in that top five is pretty phenomenal in itself. You’ve got to be in that space to be able to post (a podium result). The way the courses are running at the moment with a lot of DNFs and difficult conditions, certainly Adam’s well in the hunt for that top three position.”


Also battling for podium spots will be Austria's Matthias Lanzinger, the reigning world champion in the event who sits in third place after today’s race. Lanzinger will be itching for gold after winning silver in super-G and taking fourth in the downhill.

 

Russia’s Alexey Bugaev currently sits in first place with Canada’s Braydon Luscombe second.


Men’s Sitting Slalom
Competitors in the men’s sitting class were the last racers to take to the course and faced the difficult task of keeping their speed in check whilst being bounced around on the now very bumpy course.

“The sit skiers faced some of the toughest conditions you’re going to find anywhere,” said Ashley Light.
Fewer than half the field would finish the course.

Corey Peters took a cautious but determined approach, picking his way down the course and losing speed on the flatter section but ultimately making it through the finish gates. His time of 1:03.24 puts him in 7th place 4.53s off the leader, Austria’s Roman Rabl.

“It wasn’t anywhere near my cleanest Slalom I’ve done,” he commented after the race. “I just knew I had to play it safe. Everyone was maybe pushing it too hard for the conditions so I backed off a little bit and just played it safe.

“That was my one goal (to finish the course). I just wanted to fight to the end basically to give me that chance of getting a super-g run.” He continues, “At the moment anything can happen at these games with the conditions the way they are. I’m a little bit behind on the time but can hopefully make that up in the super-g.”

Chef de Mission, Ashley Light praised Corey’s performance, particularly given that Corey is a relative new-comer to the sport and prefers speed to technical events. “It just goes to show what an amazingly skilled athlete he is and the determination he has,” said Ashley Light. “He made a couple of mistakes early in the piece, but fought his way back to get down the hill.”

Germany’s Thomas Nolte currently sits in second place and Philipp Bonadimann (AUT) in third.

The men’s and women’s Super-G races of the Super-combined have been moved to Friday 14 March from 2pm-4pm Sochi time (11pm – 1am NZ time).


The New Zealand team will first compete in the Slalom event early on Friday morning (NZ time). Adam Hall will be looking to defend the title he earned at the Vancouver Games in 2010. He believes that today’s competition will put him in good stead for the main Slalom event.

“We believe there’s more potential coming into the Slalom. The conditions are going to stay pretty similar and not change so much. It’s a matter of looking at today and moving forward into the Slalom and making sure we can keep moving forward from a tactical point of view.”

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games continue until 16 March with 45 teams and 547 athletes competing.

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games have already smashed significant records for ticket sales and online visitors. So far, more than 300,000 tickets have been sold - eclipsing the previous record of 230,000 sold in Vancouver four years ago.

The Games are also proving an online success with more people visiting the IPC's website www.paralympic.org in the first 24 hours of the Games, than the whole of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games which spanned 10 days, underlining the growing appeal of the Paralympic Games.

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

 

11 March 2014
Sochi 2014 Paralympics already a record breaker

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games may still be less than 48 hours old however they have already smashed significant records for ticket sales and online visitors.

So far Sochi 2014 has sold 287,000 tickets, beating the previous record set in Vancouver by 57,000 sales.

Yesterday 45,000 people visited the Olympic Park in the coastal cluster and more than 2,000 people attended the evening medals ceremony in Rosa Khutor.

The Games are also proving an online success with more people visiting the IPC's website www.paralympic.org in the first 24 hours of the Games, than the whole of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games which spanned 10 days.

By 13:00 MST on Sunday 9 March, nearly 85 per cent more people had visited the IPC's website than they did four years ago, underlining the growing appeal of the Paralympic Games.

Craig Spence, the IPC's Director of Media and Communications, said: "We are delighted to break two significant records so early during Sochi 2014.

"The Organising Committee has done a great job in raising Paralympic awareness which has helped ticket sales reach their record levels.

"The IPC website appears to be growing in popularity all the time. During London 2012 we had the same number of visitors each day as we did during the whole of the Beijing Games and this looks to be repeating itself here in Sochi when compared to Vancouver.

"Although the visitor numbers for Sochi are slightly lower than what we experienced during London 2012, they are record breaking for a winter Games."

Visitors to the IPC website during Sochi 2014 can watch over 300 hours of live HD action covering all five Paralympic sports, in addition to taking in live results, previews, reviews and features.

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games will run until 16 March. A record 45 countries are taking part in 72 medal events across five sports - alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.
 
 

- International Paralympic Committee
  

 

10 March 2014
Kiwis prove themselves a force to be reckoned with in Paralympic Super-G

Competition began for the New Zealand team at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games on Sunday night with skiers Adam Hall and Corey Peters taking on the Super Giant Slalom (Super-G) at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre.

Currently ranked sixth in the world in men’s Super-G in the standing class and a three-time Paralympian, Adam Hall posted some of the day’s fastest split times in his class, challenging the world top three for the podium before ultimately suffering the disappointment of a DNF. Sit-skier Corey Peters made it safely through his run to finish sixth in his first Paralympic Games.

The sport of Para-Alpine Skiing employs a classification system to ensure fair competition between alpine skiers with different types of disabilities. The classifications are grouped into three general disability types: standing, visually impaired and sitting. A factoring system allows the three classification groupings to compete fairly against each other in the same race despite different functional skiing levels and medical issues.

Super-G is regarded as a speed event, in contrast to the technical events giant slalom and slalom. Super-G has few turns and the gates are spaced widely apart. Racers aim to take the fastest line with a combination of speed and precise turning. In the Super-G racers have only one run to post their fastest time.

Today’s race saw skiers challenged not only by a tight and technical course but soft snow conditions slowing their speed.

Adam was the 15th racer to start in the standing class. All went well on the top section with the Kiwi setting a good pace and the split times putting him in contention for a podium spot. Hitting the rutted middle section of the course he found himself bounced off his race line and unable to hold on, losing his balance and posting a DNF.

“I felt really confident, really strong. I felt really happy about how I was skiing. Unfortunately pretty close to the finish line I came out and wasn’t able to finish.

“It was a little bit bumpy through that section and it was quite a cranker of a turn going in but no excuses, it’s the same for everybody.
“This sets us up well for the super combined. I felt really good on the hill, I was really happy with how my skiing was going but obviously I need to get across the finish line to get the results we’re after.

“Today was obviously disappointing but we’ll take that forward and know that we’re in there, we’ve just got to get across the finish line.”

Podium spots in the standing class went to the world-ranked top three with Markus Salcher (AUT) in gold medal position, backing up his gold medal in yesterday’s downhill event. Matthias Lanzinger (AUT) earned the silver medal, Alexey Bugaev (RUS) bronze.

New Zealand’s Corey Peters finished his day in sixth place in the men’s sitting class. For the first-time Paralympian who is currently ranked 15th in the world for Super-G, the day underlined the value of perseverance.

“No matter what happens, whether you make a mistake or not, just fight to the end,” he commented after the race. “As it’s proven today, half the field has crashed out and I’m sitting in sixth. If you fight to the end you never know what could happen.”

Corey made a mistake mid-way through his run applying a little too much pressure on his turn, causing the bucket seat to touch the snow and slow him down. Nevertheless, he was pleased with the overall result on a challenging course.

“It went well, I’m obviously quite proud to be able to finish. It was definitely a rodeo ride. Just to survive that course and coming down in one piece is very pleasing. There were a couple of mistakes that I’m not very happy about, but that’s ski racing.”

Japan’s Akira Kano and Taiki Morii claimed gold and silver with Canada’s Caleb Brousseau in the bronze medal position.

Racing continues for the New Zealand team on Tuesday with Adam Hall and Corey Peters competing in the Super-Combined from 7.50pm NZT.

 

- Paralympics New Zealand
 

 

7 March 2014
A
ttitude chat to Corey Peters and Carl Murphy
Don't miss Attitude TV on Sunday at 8.30am on TV One. Corey Peters and Carl Murphy chat about the upcoming Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

http://attitudelive.com/blog/robbie-francis/promo-skiing-sochi

 

- AttitudeLive
 

 

7 March 2014
Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games starts tomorrow

A small but quality New Zealand team dripping with podium potential are poised to open their account at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games which officially bursts into action in Russia tomorrow (Saturday).

The three-strong team led by flag bearer Adam Hall, the defending men’s alpine skiing slalom standing champion, will all attend tomorrow’s glittering Opening Ceremony which begins at 5am (Saturday) at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.

Adam is joined on the New Zealand team by Paralympic debutants Carl Murphy - one of the leading para snowboard cross standing riders in the world – and sit-skier Corey Peters, whose busy schedule will see him compete across four events.

Expectations are high that the well prepared trio can secure two medals and go one better than the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics when Adam memorably struck gold in the slalom despite taking a mid-race tumble in his second run.

Dunedin-born Adam, who is now based in Wanaka, will be the first Kiwi in action in Sochi competing in the men’s super-G standing on Sunday.

Adam, 26, whose mother, Gayle, tragically died in a car accident just a month after striking gold in Vancouver, will then compete in the super combined event – which takes place across Tuesday and Wednesday 11 – 12 March - before concluding his competitive programme in Sochi with the defence of his slalom title on Friday 14 March.

Among Hall’s main rivals will be 2013 World slalom and giant slalom champion Vincent Gauthier-Manuel of France, Russia’s 2013 world silver medallist in giant slalom and super combined Alexey Bugaev and Austrian Matthias Lanzinger, a former able-bodied World Cup podium finisher who later switched to Para-Sport after a leg amputation.

In fact, the South Islander, who was born with spina bifida, believes the quality of his opposition is at an all-time high.

“I don’t think we’ll see what we saw in Vancouver (where Adam held such a buffer after the first leg he could even fall in the second leg and get back to his feet to win gold),” explains Adam. “Many of the competitions are being decided by hundredths of second - that’s what keeps it really exciting.

“We have an opportunity (to perform at the Paralympic Games) every four years and get a chance to put in our best performance and represent our country,”

“Right now, I’m focusing on the process of that then the results will follow. If I do, I‘ll be rewarded with a podium spot.”

Carl, a below the knee amputee, is also hopeful he can flourish when he competes in the para snowboard cross, a sport which makes its Paralympic debut in Sochi. Currently ranked joint third in the world he sees his strongest challenge coming from the leading US trio of Evan Strong, Keith Gabel and Michael Shea.

“The three Americans and I have been battling for those podium positions over the past couple of seasons and we'll all be jostling for that one spot,” adds Carl, whose preparations were dealt a blow when he suffered a knee fracture in a training accident in December.

Nonetheless, the New Plymouth born Lake Hawea resident, who was ranked No.1 in the world before his injury, believes top spot on the podium is a possibility when he competes on Friday March 14.

“My eyes are still firmly on gold,” he adds. “That is what I’ve been pushing for the last 18 months.”

Corey, who was paralysed after a motocross accident five years ago, opens his busy schedule on Sunday in the super-G before competing in the super combined on Tuesday-Wednesday 11 - 12 March.

He then switches his focus on to the slalom on Friday 14 March before he concludes his demanding schedule with the giant slalom, where he is world ranked No.11, on Saturday 15 March.

Only taking up the sport in 2010, the sit-skier, who hails from New Plymouth but now lives in Wanaka, has enjoyed a meteoric rise and a positive run of recent results has led to a re-setting of his goals.

“I’ve always said a top ten in each event would be awesome,” says Corey, 30, whose preferred events are the giant slalom and super-G. “But after the last few World Cup events and the fact my times have improved - a top five or six spot is achievable. If I was to do that it would be pretty awesome, considering I'm a newbie at my first Games.”

The three-strong team are currently based in the Athletes’ Village in preparation for competition and Adam has settled in quickly to his new environment.

“My first impression is that the Village is going to be a great place to live,” he explains. “All the facilities, transport etc are close to our ‘Kiwi zone’ and the guys have done a great job making our space feel like home,” he explains.

The Chef de Mission of the New Zealand team, Ashley Light, says the athletes are raring to go.

“The mood in the camp is one of excitement,” says Ashley “The athletes have high expectations of themselves and in turn so do the support staff and coaches. The Village is extraordinary. We have no real issues, friendly staff and a can do attitude. We are looking forward to competing. It’s what we do best.”

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

  
 

7 March 2014
Adam Hall named Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games flag bearer for New Zealand team

Paralympics New Zealand has named Adam Hall as the NZ team flag bearer at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games in Russia. A three-time Paralympian (Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010 and now Sochi) Adam will be seeking to win a second gold medal after his dramatic slalom performance in Vancouver.

Since the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics Adam has consistently achieved World Cup podium results. Adam posted four World Cup wins in 2012, and 2013 saw two World Cup wins and one World Cup bronze medal. In the 2014 Northern Hemisphere season to date he has achieved seven podium spots at Noram competitions.

Adam is a senior athlete and epitomises all that is good in sport in New Zealand and on the international stage. He is a true professional and a role model to the team, other Paralympians and able-bodied athletes.

Adam says, “It is obviously a great honour to be selected to represent our country at the Paralympic Winter Games and I have been fortunate to attend two previous games.” He continues, “You dream of being the flag bearer and maybe, if you are lucky, this happens once in your career as an athlete. This will be the second time I will carry the flag for the NZ and the team here in Sochi and I am humbled and excited about doing it, keep an eye out for a very active flag during the march.”

The team, including athletes Corey Peters and Carl Murphy, is excited about the opening ceremony and looking forward to starting competition.

Led by Adam Hall, carrying the New Zealand flag, the New Zealand Paralympic Winter team will be dressed in the traditional black and white. In homage to the Russian people, and somewhat unusually among teams here in Sochi, the New Zealand team’s uniform will also feature the words ‘New Zealand’ written in the Cyrillic alphabet.

Ashley Light (Chef de Mission) said the athletes are looking forward to the opening ceremony tonight. “We’re delighted all of the athletes in Sochi can march. They’ll be proud to march behind our flag and share in the experience of what is expected to be a magnificent opening ceremony.”

 

- Paralympics New Zealand  
 

6 March 2014
Paralympian ready for Sochi 2014

Besides gold medal hopefuls Adam Hall and Carl Murphy, the third member of New Zealand's Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games team in Russia is also hoping to make an impression. Rising sit-ski star Corey Peters is an athlete who is rapidly earning a big reputation.

Corey Peters is the man who put the meteor into meteoric. Just two-and-a-half years since his maiden sit-ski experience, the New Plymouth raised athlete is not only on his way to the Sochi 2014 Paralympics, but gunning for a top six spot. Despite his lack of experience, the Kiwi – who is entered in the slalom, giant slalom, super G and super combined events - has impressed experienced observers with his whole-hearted dedication and natural ability. It has been some journey.

Sport has played a central role for as long as Corey can remember. Good enough to play age-group cricket and rugby – as a half-back - for Taranaki he also had a passion for surfing and later motocross. Introduced to the two-wheeled motor sport through his younger brother he quickly started to compete, but it was during an event in Taupo in September 2009 when his life changed forever. On an unfamiliar course he badly misjudged a jump and the bike struck the ground some 10m beyond the landing slope. “The suspension on the bike just bottomed out and as I did so my spine compressed and blew out the vertebrae,” explains Corey, who immediately knew the accident was serious. “I had lost all function from the waist down and I instantly lost my sense of balance. Once the adrenaline wore off after a couple of minutes it felt like someone had cut me in half with an axe.”

Corey was airlifted to Rotorua Hospital and was informed that the vertebrae was badly damaged, crushing the spinal cord by 80 per cent. He underwent surgery to put the spine into place and rods were inserted into the back. Yet the enormity of the accident only hit home after he was transferred to Burwood Spinal Unit in Christchurch. It was here the spinal specialist explained to the then active 26-year-old he might not be able to walk again. “I didn't know much about paralysis, being in a wheelchair and what life was going to be like,” explains Corey on being told the news. “It was very upsetting. I didn't want to believe it.” Shortly afterwards a long-term relationship ended that “multiplied” the anguish and uncertainly he was feeling. He fell into a rut. Sport was to prove his saviour.

He worked hard on trying to get the function back into his legs. Specialists advised Corey that the first two years were the most likely for nerve recovery. He underwent regular physiotherapy worked hard and the function improved. He found he could move around over short distances on crutches without the aid of leg braces.

He tried his hand at wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball, but his life was to change after he was invited to a sports expo in his hometown of New Plymouth 12 months after the accident. There he met a guy named Ian Rowe who owned a sit-ski. He was intrigued. He later bought one and tried it out for the first time in August 2011. It was a moment which would transform his life. “I liked the independence of skiing,” explains Corey, who had ridden a snowboard half-a-dozen or so times previously when able-bodied. “I was not restricted in anyway. I also liked that extreme appeal. In that way it was a little bit like motocross. I could fly down a mountain at 80mph reaching some pretty big speeds.”

A passionate surfer pre-accident he found the balance and co-ordination he had honed in that sport was a perfect fit for skiing. Coupled with this, the small amount of function in his legs gave him additional control of his pelvis and hips, essentially tools used to steer the ski. Both combined to equip him with the skills to succeed. He quickly sought out active competition. He impressed, winning his first competition at the Para-Snowboard Winter Games at Cardrona in 2011.

After basing himself at Winter Park in Colorado for his first full season in 2012-13 he returned to New Zealand last year and posted a series of impressive results in World Cup events. He grabbed a gold and a bronze medal in the super-combined and super-G events at Mount Hutt and silver in the slalom at Coronet Peak. Training alongside New Zealand's Vancouver 2010 Paralympic gold medal-winning skier Adam Hall and sharing the same coach, American, Scott Olsen, the rookie skier's development has progressed at a staggering pace. Based for part of the year up at the National Sports Center for the Disabled at Winter Park, Colorado, Corey insists that technical gains particularly better “timing” into the turns has contributed to his recent improvement. His overall strength and fitness particularly with core muscles – the principal muscles which power the sit-ski – have also developed.

Yet his mental approach – which he has worked on with the help of High Performance Sport NZ (HPSNZ) mental skills trainer Pete Sanford – has also played its part. “In my first year competing I was really nervous,” he explains. “I wanted to do well and put a lot of pressure on myself. The skills probably weren't there back then, but now I have them a little more I've learned to cope with the pressure. I'm not fixated on results. I'm just working on trying to do a good clean run. In this way the results will look after themselves.”

This has been born out with his final pre-Sochi World Cup outing in Copper Mountain in the USA in January when the talented Kiwi produced what he believes was the best performance of his career. In a loaded field, which included the top Japanese racers, (Note, these skiiers did not compete in the World Cup events in New Zealand) he finished second in the giant slalom. It was a massive breakthrough. “We raced two giant slaloms (that's two runs per race totalling four runs) over the week there (in Copper Mountain) and I ended up winning two of the runs outright,” adds Corey, who finished tenth in the giant slalom at the 2013 World Championships in Spain. “For me, to beat these guys who are viewed as the best in the world was pretty awesome. It gives me huge confidence for Sochi. “If you look at the times I was racing at the World Championships (twelve months ago) I was quite a way off first place, but now I'm within a second of first place. “Sochi is going to be really exciting. I can't wait to see how it goes and to give of my best.”

So what does Corey – a qualified cabinet maker and boat builder - believe he can achieve in Russia?
“I’ve always said a top ten in each event would be awesome,” says the man whose preferred events are the giant slalom and super-G. “But after the last few World Cup events and the fact my times have improved - a top five or six spot is achievable. If I was to do that it would be pretty awesome, considering I'm a newbie at my first Games.”

For the 30-year-old Taranaki man skiing has offered him the freedom and opportunity he never thought he would ever experience. “It was really hard for me to adjust for the first couple of years after the accident,” he candidly admits. “I was thinking my life was over and I had nothing to look forward to. Being introduced to skiing helped turn the tables. I now appreciate what I have got and try to enjoy every moment. To see all these places and mountains is not really what I expected. I'll take it. It is an awesome life.”

Corey Peters - My Favourite things
Band – Mumford and Sons
TV show – Nature documentaries
App – The banking app
Piece of Kit – My sit-ski
Food – Japanese
Drink – Orange juice
Car – Audi
Piece of Clothing – Jeans
Rival – Taiki Morii
Film – The Shawshank Redemption
Other Sport – Surfing

 

- Steve Landells for Paralympics New Zealand

  
 

5 March 2014
Paralympic debut could prove inspirational...

New Zealand's adaptive snowboard cross gold medal hopeful Carl Murphy is confident he can shrug off the anguish of an untimely injury and the personal pain of a seriously ill father to strike gold at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Murphy, a below the knee amputee, who has a ranking of joint No.1 in the world at the end of the 2012-13 season, suffered the trauma of his father, Peter, suffering a major stroke in October. Coupled with that in the week leading up to Christmas, Murphy overshot a jump and flat landed in training. He fractured his tibial plateau and partially ruptured the LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) in the accident and has been in a race to regain full fitness ahead of the biggest competition of his life.

“My dad had a brain aneurysm that ruptured and post-surgery he suffered a major stroke,” explains Murphy of his father’s medical trauma. “He was in intensive care for a month and it was touch and go whether he’d make it. To see him that sick was hard to take.” Thankfully, his Auckland-based father is making progress. He has regained “a little bit of speech” and “got some movement back in the side of his body.”

Murphy - one of three New Zealand athletes selected for Sochi 2014 Paralympics - the others being Vancouver 2010 Paralympic gold medal winning skier Adam Hall and debutant sit-skier Corey Peters - suffered a massive jolt to his preparations with the knee injury. The athlete, who shares his time between Wanaka and Frisco, Colorado, has worked for three to four hours a day in the gym in an effort to accelerate the recovery process and returned to the snow earlier this month (February) after a seven-week period on the sidelines.

“It was a blow at the time to pick up the injury and it is obviously not ideal,” says Murphy, who will feature in the snowboard cross, which makes its debut appearance at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics. “All I can do is focus on what I need to do. I guess it would have been good to have raced at a World Cup level (in recent weeks) but they (my rivals) haven't had the chance to see me either, so that probably works in my favour.” He continues, “The recovery is going well. I'm back on the snow and slowly building up and getting a feel for the snow. Every week I'll be setting little milestones.”

Murphy started snowboarding regularly in his early 20s but only decided to start competing in 2007 - at the age of 27. “Just to see what was out there.” After winning the New Zealand national title in 2007 he decided to give the 2008 US Championships a crack and impressed, winning a silver and bronze in the giant slalom and slalom. Despite falling in his very first Snowboard cross race at that same competition he was hooked on the high speed event which combines the very best elements of both alpine and freestyle snowboarding.
In 2009 Murphy was selected for the NZ Snowboard team and quickly carved out a reputation as one of the world's best in his discipline. Yet it was only after learning in May 2012 the sport had been included in the Winter Paralympics programme did his career take on a different shape.

“I was looking at maybe doing one more season before retiring, but the news changed my focus,” says Carl, whose son Oliver was born in early 2011. “I set some clear goals. It was to not only go to the (Sochi 2014 Paralympics) Games, but I was going to win.”

After the news broke of the sport's inclusion in the Sochi 2014 Paralympics, Murphy quickly met up with Snow Sports NZ and High Performance Sport NZ (HPSNZ) staff to organise a clear performance plan in the countdown to Sochi. Every element to his training and lifestyle was scrutinised in an effort to improve his chances of winning gold. His training-volume was sizably increased. Murphy’s nutritional intake was re-analysed, a clear medical programme introduced and he was given access to a sports psychologist. It was a demanding change for the architectural designer.

“The biggest problem I had was time management,” explains Murphy of the new regime. “I was trying to manage my training, family time and also work part time. I'm not really one to be organised. Aleisha, my wife, was like a manager to me in some ways. She had a diary and made sure I attended all my appointments.”
Over the past two years Carl has become a consistent winner of World Cup medals and last year he was crowned Snow Sports NZ Athlete of the Year. “ He insists he has developed massively as a rider over the past 18 months with major gains being made on his psychological approach thanks to his work with HPSNZ mental skills trainer Peter Sanford.

“I do a lot more visualisation,” adds the New Plymouth raised snowboarder. “I visualise my race the night before and when I'm on the lift before runs, which makes everything so much clearer when I'm riding. Now everything seems to flow a lot better. I can make that connection between the body and the mind.”

Last year Murphy collected a bronze medal in the Test event in Sochi and he does not expect to be fazed by the conditions he is likely to face on his Winter Paralympics debut.

“It is similar to New Zealand in that it is quite humid and variable,” he explains. “We are used to that as Kiwis whereas the American riders are used to sunny days and quite dry snow.”

He says he is among “ten possible medallists’ on the day in which riders are timed over three runs with the top two runs contributing to an overall time which determine the medals. However, he insists the American trio of Evan Strong, Keith Gabel and Michael Shea will present his toughest challenge when the Games launch on March 7. “The three Americans and I have been battling for those podium positions over the past couple of seasons and we'll all be jostling for that one spot,” adds Murphy whose wife, son and English-based mother will be attending the Games. “My eyes are still firmly on gold,” he adds. “That is what I’ve been pushing for the last 18 months. “I know my dad would say, ‘don’t worry about me just go and do what you have to do.’ So that reassured me, what I am doing is right.”

Carl Murphy - My Favourite things
Band – Pearl Jam
TV show – SKy Sport
App – Pandora
Piece of Kit – my leg
Food – Mexican
Drink – chocolate milk
Car – Audi
Piece of Clothing – cap
Rival – Mike Shea
Film – Team America
Other Sport – Fly Fishing

 

- Steve Landells for Paralympics New Zealand

  
 

4 March 2014

Inspiration and planning drives Paralympic success
Adam Hall is all set to defend his standing slalom title in the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games in Russia. Should he do so he will have a large army of support staff to thank for what has been a carefully engineered four-year plan.

If ever a story epitomised the virtues of Kiwi hard work and ingenuity it is that of Adam Hall.
Four years ago, at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics, the then 22-year-old survived a mid-race fall in his second run to dramatically strike gold in the standing slalom event.

At that time, the man who was raised on the family’s dairy farm in Outram on the Taieri Plains, lauded his success as a victory based chiefly on perspiration. This time around should he mount a successful defence of his title he hopes a large dollop of inspiration will have proved decisive.

“I believe Vancouver was achieved on hard work and a good Kiwi attitude,” explains Adam of his 2010 triumph. “Yet after Vancouver we looked at my body and discussed what we needed to do to be able to continue for another four years. The training hasn’t changed too much, just the way we have gone about it. We still work hard but we are a lot smarter in our thinking.

In short, the South Islander has taken on board another Kiwi trait familiar to many – ingenuity.

Working with a large and talented support team, Adam has left no stone unturned in his quest for gold. Video analysis, strength and conditioning, nutrition, biomechanics and a variety of others areas have been closely scrutinised in an effort to trim those extra hundredths of a second so critical on the mountain.

It is the appliance of science with a large Kiwi imprint.

“The great thing about adaptive sport is everyone is completely different,” explains Adam who was born with spina bifida. “Everyone has their own equipment to suit their own ability. That’s what adaptive sport is all about. It is about being adaptive to your own needs. We decided after Vancouver to go back to the drawing board, look at my body and decide what I specifically needed to go faster.”

The whole process was methodically worked through with the first step a detailed physical evaluation of Adam’s body with the help of Vanessa Trent of Precision Physiotherapy – an accredited provider for High Performance Sport NZ (HPSNZ). She assessed the Otago athlete’s strength and overall fitness with another brief to ensuring that Adam’s body would not be irreparably worn out by the demands of training.

With the detailed physical analysis of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic gold medallist now in place the next issue was to address the question of equipment and technique married with the individual make up of Adam’s body.

One area ripe for development was the outriggers or “elbow crutches” which provide assistance with balance and propulsion out of the gate – which had barely changed on terms of their design and construction for the past 30 years.

Another area which Adam and his team believed demanded attention was his AFO’s (ankle foot orthoses) which had historically been designed to act as a support to the disability rather than allowing him to be in the optimum position to perform to his best.

Using Orthotics SI – the Christchurch-based company experienced in manufacturing AFO’s (Ankle Foot Orthoses) – a Mark 1 version was designed. However, as the normal casting process for a new AFO required Adam to be on site for each individual mould – not easy when trying to modify and with Adam’s training requirements which involves him sharing his time between Wanaka and Winter Park, Colorado.

To overcome the problem Adam’s leg was digitally scanned in 3D and a new 3D model was developed that could be used to design new supports. The cutting edge Christchurch firm ARANZ Medical Ltd – whose 3D scanning expertise helped NASA explore Mars were brought on board.

Using the very finest technology available a ‘Virtual Adam’ was created to help predict biomechanical alignment of Adam’s lower limbs. From this the splints and orthoses to support the ideal position for his legs was created. Dynamic Composites then created a replica set for Adam’s legs as moulds.
“The AFO’S are a lot lighter than what I skied with before,” explains Adam. “They now work in a way and at the same angles of how my knees, ankles and hips flex, whereas before they worked against my body.”

Meanwhile, a new set of state-of-the-art outriggers were designed by Milton Bloomfield at Dynamic Composites – a man who had previously worked with America’s Cup team and Sarah Ulmer the 2004 Olympic cycling champion. Bloomfield and his team designed a pair of jet black carbon fibre outriggers. Although much of the science behind the outriggers is of a sensitive nature – Adam is excited by the innovation.

“My outriggers and a lot different to the traditional,” explains Adam, who will be skiing with the third upgraded design from Dynamic Composites in Sochi. “They are more dynamic and lighter and work against my shoulder. Let’s just say the technology has allowed me to work more productively on snow. The equipment now works for me rather than against me.”

Yet Adam’s drive and ambition to defend his title in Sochi has extended way beyond his equipment and technological changes.

Shifting from northern to southern hemisphere winter – this is currently Adam’s 20th successive winter – his training under the supervision of his US coach Scott Olson has also undergone an overhaul.

He has adopted a more measured, targeted approach to training, which he hopes will pay dividends in Sochi.

“I now put in some really good blocks of training and then I will back off, rather than grinding away all the time,” he explains. “It is about good periodisation and quality over quantity and getting as much out of your training as you can. When I look back at Vancouver I was probably grinding away all of the time, whereas as I’ve now become more focused on tactics and techniques. This has helped me perform to a higher level.”

His nutrition – working alongside HPSNZ nutritionist Caz Cruden - has also undergone a revolution.

He has shed 10kg in weight thanks to a combination of a well educated nutritional plan, good discipline and work in the gym and believes his current weight of 75kg is ideal to maximise speed without losing power on the slopes.

“It is about being smart around your training with protein and carbs,” he explains of his nutrition. “It is also about having replacement nutrition and being able to replenish and rebuild by fuelling the body. Being this light has helped me become more dynamic on the hill and it has helped me create a lot more angles, because the loss of fat is quite noticeable.”

Thanks to the hard, innovative and professional work put in by his team, Adam, who took up skiing aged six, goes into Sochi in good heart. Besides the slalom his specialty event – he is now a more rounded skier who also hopes to be in medal contention in the super combined (he currently has a world ranking of 18) and super-G (he is currently world ranked No.6) disciplines, too.

The competition at the sharp end has also improved. It is not seconds or even tenths of seconds that separate the top standing slalom skiers, but hundredths of seconds. Standing in his way to potentially retaining his title will be home favourite Alexey Bugaev and three-time Paralympic medallist Vincent Gaulthier-Manuel of France. Another danger will be former able-bodied World Cup super-G podium finisher Matthias Lanzinger of Austria, who suffered a leg amputation following a sickening crash and is now excelling in disability sport.

“It is going to be really competitive,” adds Adam. ‘I don’t think we’ll see what we saw in Vancouver (where Adam held such a buffer after the first leg he could even fall and get back to his feet to win gold). Many of the competitions are being decided by hundredths of second - that’s what keeps it really exciting. That is something I really thrive off.”

Yet for Adam, who tragically lost his mother, Gayle, in a car accident just one month after winning gold in Vancouver, the aim and ambition is the same as always.

“We have an opportunity (to perform at the Paralympic Games) every four years and get a chance to put in our best performance and represent our country,” he explains. “Right now, I’m focusing on the process of that then the results will follow. If I do I‘ll be rewarded with a podium spot.”

With a sprinkling of Kiwi ingenuity and a large dollop of hard work anything is possible.

Adam Hall – My Favourite things…
TV show - Mrs Browns Boys
App - My GPS Speedo
Food - Kiwi roast
Drink - Blue Powerade
Career moment - Winning gold in Vancouver
Piece of equipment – My skis
Film – The World’s Fastest Indian
Rival – Anyone from Australia
Other sport - Rugby
Car – Hyundai Santé Fe.
 

- Steve Landells for Paralympics New Zealand

  
 

4 March 2014
Duane Kale named as a torchbearer for Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games

Duane Kale was today announced as one of 34 torchbearers who will represent the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games Torch Relay on 6 and 7 March.

He says, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to carry the torch in the lead up to the opening of the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi.” He continues, “Although board duties will take up a good portion of my time in Sochi, I am particularly looking forward to seeing the Kiwi's competing on the slopes.”

Duane is best known as an outstanding Paralympic swimmer who won six medals (4 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze) and broke four world records at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games. He continued his involvement in Paralympic sport as Chef de Mission of the New Zealand team at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games

The 10-day long Sochi 2014 Paralympic Torch Relay started on 26 February and, by the time of the Opening Ceremony, will have passed through 46 cities in each different Russian region and involved 1,500 torchbearers.
On 5 March, the eighth day of the relay, the Paralympic Flame will be created at a special uniting ceremony before the Torch Relay embarks on a final 48 hours around the host city.

Duane will be representing the IPC Governing Board in his status as a Member at Large in the Torch Relay, along with President Sir Philip Craven, Vice President Andrew Parsons and other Members at Large Patrick Jarvis, Kyung-Won Na, John Petersson and Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council Todd Nicholson.
IPC Life President Bob Steadward will also be involved as will the UN’s Wilfried Lemke.

On 1 March, the first ever international leg of a Paralympic Torch Relay took place in Stoke Mandeville, Great Britain, in recognition of the town as the spiritual birthplace of the Paralympic Movement. For all future editions of the Games, Stoke Mandeville and Great Britain will host a leg of the Paralympic Torch Relay and as a result they will be represented in Sochi by four torchbearers, led by British Paralympic Association President Tim Reddish.

The final IPC places in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Torch Relay have been awarded to IPC Worldwide Paralympic and International Partners, as well as supporters of the Agitos Foundation, including IPC Honorary Board member Hassan Ali Bin Ali.

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic torch was developed by a team of famous Russian designers and engineers. The torch weighs about 1.8 kg and has a length of 95 cm, is blue and has a base that is light "metallic" silver. The concept of the urban Sochi 2014 Paralympic Torch Cauldron resonates with the concept of the torch and is implemented in an identical style. The height and width of the cauldrons are 130cm and 60cm, respectively. The foundation is 110cm. These cauldrons will be installed in all the cities along the route of the Sochi 2014 Relay.

The Relay will conclude at the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on 7 March.

 

- Paralympics New Zealand

  
 

3 March 2014
Martlew Grabs Medals at 2014 ICF Oceania Canoe Sprint Championship

The Kiwis have certainly made an impression at the ICF Oceania Canoe Sprint Champs in Sydney over the weekend - the juniors impressive medal haul eclipsing the Aussies in the U18 division.

The brightest star would have to be Kurtis Imrie who has gathered an impressive three golds and a silver in this competition – gold in the K1 1000m and 200m plus the K4 1000m with team mates Quaid Thompson, Taris Harker and Toby Brooke, plus silver in the K2 1000m with Taris Harker.

Not to be outdone, Open para paddler Scott Martlew claimed medals in all three of his K1 races – two Oceania Golds in the 500m and 1000m and a Silver in the 200m. Arch rival Brock Ingram settled for second in the first two races but managed to pip Scott in the 200m by just 0.01 of a second.

The women’s races saw some good results in the team boats with Bronze being the colour of the day – Briar McLeeley and Britney Ford finishing in third in the K2 500m and their K4 500m with team mates Bronwyn Larsen and Elise Legarth.

The team is thrilled with the overall results featuring 16 A-finals, five Gold, two Silver and two Bronze medals. The future is certainly looking bright for our young Kiwi paddlers.

 

- Canoe Racing New Zealand

  
 

3 March 2014
Junior Disability Games - Cambridge

The Junior Disability Games (previously called the Independence Games) will be held in Cambridge between the 25 – 27 April 2014 and will include the sports of: Athletics, Swimming, Wheelchair Basketball, Boccia, Rowing (indoor), Waka Ama, Water Safety, Cycling and Triathlon.

The Junior Disability Games aims to provide high quality sporting opportunities for physically disabled young people, including visually impaired people (8-17 years at the time of the Games), providing some with a stepping stone towards the Paralympic Games.

For more information and the entry form visit www.juniordisabilitygames.co.nz.

 

- Junior Disability Games

  
 

28 February 2014
Swimming New Zealand takes Commonwealth Games Trials live

Swimming New Zealand will up their profile with April’s State New Zealand Open Championships to be broadcast live.

SKY Television will screen the four days of the championships live from the Westwave Aquatic Centre in Henderson, Auckland from 8 to 11 April, which doubles as the official trial for the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships.

Swimming New Zealand CEO Christian Renford said the move to live television coverage is an important step up for the sport.

“SKY and Swimming New Zealand have been partners for the last few years with delayed coverage of our championships,” said Renford.

“We want to take that to a new level and to profile our swimmers and our sport.

“We have made huge strides as an organisation and obviously on the high performance front we have a multi-world championship medallist in Lauren Boyle and world junior champion in Gabrielle Fa’amausili who are raising the bar for swimming in New Zealand.”

SKY’s Director of Sport, Richard Last, said:
“The 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games will be one of this year’s biggest events on SKY and it’s great to be able to showcase the New Zealand swimmers who will be in action in Glasgow later in the year.”
The championships have been condensed from six days to four providing more top quality swimming including a full programme of events for para swimmers who are also looking for qualification for the Commonwealth Games.

The evening sessions start at the later time of 7pm and finish between 9.30pm and 9.45pm.

“We want more people to have the chance to watch world class swimming as our swimmers strive to meet the Commonwealth Games team selection. Starting at the later time of 7pm will make it easier for our swimming community and fans to get to the competition venue.”

As well as live coverage on Sky Sport there will also be daily replays.

 
- Swimming New Zealand

  
 

28 February 2014
Experience Accessible Sailing - Auckland

Sailability Auckland will be holding an Experience Accessible Sailing day on Saturday 8th March 2014 in Auckland.

This day will double as a Talent Search Day for new disabled sailors in the Paralympic Class Boats of 2.4m, SKUD and Sonar (no prior sailing experience is required). For more information on the Paralympic Class Sailing Boats visit www.yachtingnz.org.nz/high-performance/paralympic-sailing

This is a fantastic opportunity for those interested in getting involved in Sailing competitively. To register your interest, contact Tim Dempsey on 09 834 0557 or 027 484 4716 or email timdempsey@xtra.co.nz.

 
   Experience Accessible Sailing - Flyer

- Sailability Auckland

  
 

28 February 2014
Paralympian eyes the podium with full support
New Zealand’s snowboard cross rider Carl Murphy is hoping for gold at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games next month (7-16 March). Should the man from Wanaka climb the top of the podium the role of his wife, Aleisha, should also be admired.

‘Behind every good man there’s a great woman’ may be a well-worn phrase but it rings perfectly true for Carl and Aleisha Murphy.

Carl is among the world’s top adaptive snowboard cross riders gunning for gold at next month’s Sochi 2014 Paralympics. Aleisha is his wife, best friend and mother to his three-year-old child, Oliver.

Should Carl – a below the knee amputee - deliver his dreams and ambitions in Russia, the 34-year-old will rightly be lauded as a New Zealand hero taking the plaudits. Yet behind the scenes, putting in the “hard yards” raising Oliver and keeping the family home in Wanaka ticking when Carl is out on the slopes training is Aleisha. The significance of her role should not be diminished.

The pair met as childhood sweethearts aged 14 in New Plymouth some 20 years ago. Carl was “always determined” admitted Aleisha. He qualified and worked as an architectural draughtsman – he still works part-time – before taking up competitive snowboarding at the age of 27.

He rapidly rose through the ranks in his new sport, starring internationally in World Cup and World Championship competition.

Yet he remained frustrated snowboard cross was not as on the roster of sports for the Paralympic Games and with a young family to support - following the birth of Oliver in early 2011 - he considered competing for “one more season” before retirement.

Then out of the blue everything changed. One morning in May 2012 they received the news snowboard cross had been accepted as part of the Paralympic programme for Sochi 2014.

Nine months earlier the sport has been rejected from the showpiece event in Russia, so the decision was unexpected.

Carl was naturally elated being given the chance to fight for a medal on the biggest stage, for Aleisha, the prospect sparked a range of different thoughts.

“It was mixed emotions for me,” Aleisha commented with straight forward honesty. “Don’t get me wrong, I was excited for Carl and 120 per cent behind him, but at the same time I knew things were about to change with his training demands. It was like, okay, if this is going to happen we need to talk sensibly.”

Shortly after the news broke, Carl met with High Performance Sport NZ (HPSNZ) and Snow Sports NZ staff to work out a detailed training programme for Sochi 2014. His regimen was radically overhauled. His training volume was massively increased. Each segment of his life scrutinised and re-evaluated in an effort to improve performance.

The pair, who had married in 2007, needed to adapt quickly to their change in circumstances.

“It has been a huge adjustment,” explained Aleisha of the past two years in which Carl is away training and competing from December to March in North America and is also committed to training for large chunks of time on the slopes in the New Zealand winter. “Carl hasn’t always been an athlete. I guess he’s changed in that he now has so much more determination and drive in him to succeed. He’s still the same Carl underneath, but occasionally I have to remind him to be Carl, the dad and husband and not just Carl the snowboarder.”

The birth of Oliver has brought additional challenges. Carl is currently the only member of the NZ Snow Sports squad to be married with a child. HPSNZ and Snow Sports NZ have been very supportive to Aleisha’s needs, but with their families scattered between the North Island and the UK life can be demanding.

“We’ve got great friends down here in Wanaka, but friends are very different to family,” added Aleisha, who herself does not ski or snowboard. “My mum is great in that every summer (while Carl is away training in the North American winter) she’ll fly down for a spell and help me out or I’ll go up to her. At the same time when I’m home alone and Carl is away it is quite difficult.”

Aleisha plans to fly out with Oliver to attend the Sochi 2014 Paralympics with her father and Carl’s mother, who both live in the UK. Yet access between husband and wife will be limited prior to his event. Any appointments will have to be formally made through the Chef de Mission.

“I’m not going there with any expectations (of meeting up with him before the event), I know he has a job to do,” she explained. “I’m definitely not going to having dinner’s out with him. If we get to see him before his race, that will be great. If not, we’ll be down the bottom of the course cheering him on.”

Yet on the biggest day of her husband sporting life, how will Aleisha feel watching events unfold in Sochi?

“I will be freaking out,” she added with a giggle “It will be a bit like road kill in that you don’t want to look, but can’t help but to look.

“When he’s overseas racing often during the night I’ll be awake looking at the phone every five minutes checking for his result to come through. On the day I’ll be so nervous but so excited as well because I want him to do well and I know how much he wants to do well.”

Team Murphy have packed away their New Zealand flags in support and are set for the outcome of the biggest competition of Carl’s life. The hope and expectation is gold, for the rider who was ranked joint No.1 in the world until a recent injury has seen him slip to No.3.

Yet has Aleisha considered how Carl will cope should he not match his high expectations when he competes on Friday 14 March – his day of reckoning.

“I’ve talked about it with Carl and for him, he has not even thought about it because it is all about positive imagery,” she explained. “I have thought about it myself and he will find it hard, but he’s such a level headed guy he’ll get through it. There is every chance it may not be his day. That is the nature of sport. We’ve just got to hope for the best.”

So can a spouse of a Paralympic athlete going for gold enjoy the experience?

“Yes, I enjoy seeing him succeed and doing what he wants to do, but at the same time because I don’t travel with him I have to do the hard yards at home,” she said. “Carl is a great father and a great husband. I couldn’t ask for more, but at the same time it is difficult for me. I’m not going to say it is beautiful and fantastic all the time because the reality is it is hard work. Athletes often talk about the role their sponsors have played after winning a title. Actually, I think, I might be the No.1 sponsor.”

Few would disagree.
 

- Steve Landells for Paralympics New Zealand

  
 

27 February 2014
2014 Laureus World Sports Awards Nominees revealed
A glittering collection of the world’s greatest sports stars have been nominated for the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards, following a ballot by the world’s media.

Among the giants of sport who have been nominated are three-time Laureus winners Usain Bolt and Serena Williams, brilliant young Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel, short-listed for the fifth time, and Tiger Woods, who won in 2000, the inaugural year of Laureus, who is selected again after returning to the summit of world golf. Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva, both two-time Laureus winners, are nominated in two categories.

 

Paralympics New Zealand swimmer Sophie Pascoe is a finalist in the Sportsperson with a disability category.
 
Pascoe dominated the IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, winning five gold medals in her five events. She also set four world records and was voted IPC Athlete of the Month for August. In September, she broke another two world records at the New Zealand Short Course Championships.
 
Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses said: “I have never seen such a potentially close contest in so many categories before. This is going to be a classic year. There is a wonderful balance between some of the great names who have dominated sport over many years and some exciting newcomers like Missy Franklin and Marc Márquez. I am especially thrilled by the line-up for the Disability Award, where you could make a case for any of the six to win. This is really the crème de la crème of sport and it is going to be an exciting night in Kuala Lumpur discovering which of these great athletes will receive Laureus Awards.”

The full list of Nominees for the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards is below so tell.

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Athletics – won 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m World Championship gold medals
Mo Farah (UK) Athletics – won classic 5,000m and 10,000m double in World Championships
LeBron James (US) Basketball – Miami Heat star, voted NBA MVP for fourth time in five years
Rafael Nadal (Spain) Tennis – winner of French Open, US Open and five ATP Masters event
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Football - scored 69 goals for Real Madrid and Portugal in 2013
Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Motor Racing – won fourth straight Formula One World Championship

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Nadine Angerer (Germany) Football – FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, captain of German team
Missy Franklin (US) Swimming – at 18, won a record six gold medals in World Championships
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics – won three sprint gold medals in World Championships
Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) Athletics – won pole vault world title in front of home Russian crowd
Tina Maze (Slovenia) Skiing – won Overall World Cup and three other disciplines, plus Super G world title
Serena Williams (US) Tennis – won French Open and US Open, plus eight other tournaments in 2013

Laureus World Team of the Year
All Blacks (NZ) Rugby Union – first time a national team achieved a 100% record in professional era
Bayern Munich (Germany) Football – won Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble
Brazil Men’s Football Team – won Confederations Cup, beating World Cup holders Spain in final
Bob & Mike Bryan (US) Tennis – completed doubles ‘Golden Slam’ – four Grand Slams and Olympic gold
Miami Heat (US) Basketball – won NBA title for second straight year, beating San Antonio Spurs in final
Red Bull (Austria) Motor Racing – won fourth straight Formula One Constructors’ World Championship

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Afghanistan Cricket Team – learned cricket in refugee camps, in 2013 reached first World Cup finals
Marc Márquez (Spain) Motor Cycling – youngest ever MotoGP world champion, at 20 years 266 days
Raphael Holzdeppe (Germany) Athletics – won Germany’s first World Championship pole vault gold
Nairo Quintana (Colombia) Cycling – first Tour de France rookie to finish on the podium since 1996
Justin Rose (UK) Golf – won his first Major Championship at US Open, at the age of 32
Adam Scott (Australia) Golf – first Australian winner in the 77-year history of US Masters

Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) Athletics – won pole vault world title in front of home Russian crowd
Rafael Nadal (Spain) Tennis – winner of French Open, US Open and five ATP Masters event
Oracle Team USA - Sailing – 8-1 down in America’s Cup, Oracle fought back for a remarkable 9-8 victory
Tony Parker (France) Basketball – European Championship MVP after recovering from serious eye injury
Ronaldinho (Brazil) Football – at 33, led unfashionable Atlético Mineiro to victory in Copa Libertadores
Tiger Woods (US) Golf – US PGA Player of the Year after five tour victories, regained world No 1 ranking

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Marie Bochet (France) Skiing – first winner of all five disciplines at a single Alpine World Championships
Marcel Hug (Switzerland) Wheelchair Racing – won five golds and a silver medal at World Championships
Tatyana McFadden (US) Wheelchair Racing – won four city marathons and six golds at World Championships
Sophie Pascoe (NZ) Swimming – won five gold medals out of five attempts at World Championships
Sarah Louise Rung (Norway) Swimming – won four gold medals in her five races in World Championships
Olga Sviderska (Ukraine) Swimming – took five individual and two relay golds in the World Championships

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Jamie Bestwick (UK) BMX – only athlete in X Games history to win eight straight gold medals
Bob Burnquist (Brazil) Skateboarding – overtook Dave Mirra to win a record 25th X-Games gold medal
Mick Fanning (Australia) Surfing – clinched his third World Surfing Championship in last event of year
John John Florence (US) Surfing – scored perfect 10 for completing the Alley Oop in Bali
Maya Gabeira (Brazil) Surfing – nearly drowned after attempting to surf a 70ft wave in Portugal
Shaun White (US) Snowboarding – won sixth consecutive SuperPipe gold medal at Winter X Games
 

- Laureus World Sports Awards

  
 

27 February 2014
Disabled Sailing Coordinator
Yachting New Zealand is looking to appoint a Disabled Sailing Coordinator.

The main purpose of this role is to develop sailing as an inclusive sport for people of all abilities, through providing support and resources to YNZ member clubs and organizations. Success factors of the role include increased participation and more opportunities for disabled people in sailing for sport and recreation.

A job description is available on the Situations Vacant section of the Yachting New Zealand Website: http://www.yachtingnz.org.nz/clubs/situations-vacant-0 

This is an important role for Yachting New Zealand in continuing our reputation as a leader of inclusive practice for National Sports Organizations around New Zealand. It will involve 20 hours of work per week including occasional travel.

A sailing background would be beneficial but experience in sport administration and development along with empathy and knowledge of working with disabled people would be pre requisite.

Applications by email should go to dianne@yachtingnz.org.nz or by post to Att: Dianne Logan, Yachting New Zealand, PO Box 91209, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142. Any queries can be directed to Andrew Clouston at andrew@yachtingnz.org.nz or (09) 361 4021.

Applications close on Friday March 7th, 2014.
 

- Yachting New Zealand

  
 

26 February 2014
Fuelling Carl Murphy
From rugby players to netballers and athletes to swimmers, sports nutrition has become an area of increased profile not to mention sophistication for the modern high performance athlete.

To gain an extra edge and maintain peak fitness through nutritional intake has become an essential tool in the battle to win medals and succeed at the highest level.

Yet perhaps few sports face quite the nutritional complexity of an international winter sports athlete and for New Zealand’s adaptive snowboard cross rider Carl Murphy expert input in this area has played a key role in his development into a genuine podium hopeful for the Winter Paralympics, which takes place in Sochi from March 7-16.

A member of the national team since 2009, Carl was a gifted athlete capable of top-class performances. However, it was only after linking up with High Performance Sport NZ performance nutritionist Caz Cruden in June 2012 did he start to seriously address his nutritional needs.

“Carl was a novice when it came to performance nutrition,” explains Caz, of the time she first started working with the Wanaka-based snow sport athlete. “His general eating was very good but he wasn’t used to receiving professional nutritional support. I was very impressed with Carl. He was a quick learner and recognised the value and importance of a proper nutritional programme.”

One of the first facts Carl discovered when working with Caz was he simply wasn’t taking on board enough carbohydrates. This led to weight loss and consequently a loss of muscle mass - which can impact on a snowboard cross athlete’s ability to maximise their potential.

In short, the New Plymouth-raised athlete needed to consume more carbohydrates because training in cold temperatures increased energy expenditure, meaning energy stores needed replenishing more regularly than for a typical summer sports athlete.

“Caz gave me good direction in terms of the contents I should have been eating and much better choices,” he admits. “I probably eat an extra third to my daily diet every day, which is probably worth an extra meal a day.”

Besides adapting dietary requirements to the environment, the basic logistics of spending large chunks of time training up a mountain can also result in nutritional challenges.

“Being out on the mountain makes it really difficult to take fluids and food with you,” explains Caz. “In terms of rehydration it is especially difficult. Fluids can freeze when you are out on the mountain. We often get Carl’s support team to help and this is where his coach, Adam Dooney, is great because he’ll take a backpack out with him to carry Carl’s bottles. We also educate Carl on the importance of keeping hydrated and encourage him to drink while on the chairlift going up the mountain.”

Nutritional consideration also needs to be given to the unique demands of snowboard cross. Strength and muscle mass are vital components to success in the physically demanding sport in which competitors are pitched against each other in head to head competition. Physically clashes during racing can be frequent.

“The bigger you are the better it is,” as Caz explains. “We are aiming for more muscle mass while not compromising speed and agility. We work on developing his lean muscle mass yet because of his huge training load it is hard for Carl to achieve this. He is also a lower leg amputee so we have to be really careful when increasing his lean muscle mass and overall body weight we are not overloading his joints and compromising stump care."

A further nutritional complication is a snowboarder will very often undergo periodised training spells between on snow training and dry land training. While dry land training generally focuses on strength and conditioning work in the gym to help build muscle mass and strength, his mountain training will place different demands on the body because of the alpine environment, increased aerobic training demands and therefore a greater energy expenditure load.

“When Carl is dry land training the main goal is to increase lean muscle mass so his protein intake will increase and his carb intake will decrease,” says Caz. “When in the mountains he’ll take on board a greater proportion of carbs to cope with the training demands.”

With many of these factors in place, Carl is now best placed to capitalise on his talent and perform to a peak and the signs are positive. In fact, the World No.1 para snowboard cross athlete who won the IPC Para-Snowboard World Cup event in Canada last March believes the nutritional changes he has made have been hugely beneficial.

“I feel I now have sustained energy on the mountain and I can ride for hours,” Carl explains. “If I don’t have the right nutrition it just makes you feel weak and that is dangerous because this can lead to a loss of concentration.”

“Since I started working with Caz I’ve got better and better. Last season was the best that I’ve ever had. So with the right nutrition in place it has helped contribute towards being a high performance athlete.”
 

- High Performance Sport New Zealand

  
 

20 February 2014
Duane Kale on his IPC Governing Board Role
HPSNZ News talks to Duane Kale about his recent election to the International Paralympic Committee governing board.

Broadening the events available for sports and raising development countries’ performances at Paralympic Games are among the goals Duane Kale is aiming to achieve during his time on the governing board of the International Paralympic Committee.

Duane cites archery as an example of a sport that could provide more athletes with a pathway to the Paralympics if its quota spots weren’t so restrictive.

Duane was recently elected to the IPC Government Board, securing 1 of 10 available positions from 25 other candidates around the globe.

The role will see him working for Paralympic sport and Paralympians worldwide, and it’s one he’s honoured to be doing.

While not elected as an Oceania representative, the Kiwi also sees a role for him in advocating for athletes from the Oceania region. ``A lot of natural talent comes from our islands but some countries in the region have little or no facilities and sporting infrastructure,’’ Duane says. Of the 48 countries the United Nations recognises as ``least developed countries’’, five are in the Oceania region -- Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Is, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu. There’s work that can be done to help para-athletes there, he says.

Greater levels of communication to IPC members and growing the worldwide coverage of Paralympic sport also sit among his goals for the role.

The fact that he was elected to the governing board comes down to a lot of people advocating on his behalf. ``New Zealand getting a spot is quite a coup,’’ he says. This support also extends to Duane’s employer ANZ Bank, which assisted hugely in making this possible.

Duane’s contribution to Paralympic sport is far-reaching. He is known for his outstanding performance in swimming at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games winning six medals, including four gold medals, one silver and one bronze, and breaking four world records. He’s been team manager, chef de mission, past president of Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ), and he’s on the PNZ board.

By focusing on the strategic role on the governing board, he has had to take himself out of contention for the chef de mission role at Rio, a job he so loved doing in both Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

After making a site visit to Rio in July, Duane says that once transport infrastructure issues are sorted out, with its backdrop and location Rio will be one of the most memorable Paralympic Games.

But now it’s back to serving athletes in his new role.
 

- High Performance Sport New Zealand

  
 

17 February 2014
Seven facts NZ ahead of the Sochi 2014 Paralympics
New Zealand has won 27 medals at the Paralympic Winter Games. It has won 195 medals in Paralympic Games and Paralympic Winter Games combined.

• New Zealand needs five medals to reach 200 in Paralympic Games and Paralympic Winter Games combined. It won one medals at the last Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver 2010.

• It has won all its 27 medals in one sport, alpine skiing. The only country to have won medals in only one sport with more medals is Australia with 28, also in alpine skiing.

• Patrick Cooper has won most gold medals for New Zealand with a total of four. He won men's alpine skiing slalom and super-G in 1992 and 1994.

• Cooper is the only New Zealand athlete to win a medal at three editions of the Paralympic Winter Games.

• Rachael Battersby is New Zealand's most successful female athlete with three gold medals, all won in 2002.

• In the men’s slalom standing, Adam Hall improved from a did not finish in 2006 to winning gold in 2010. He won New Zealand's only medal in Vancouver.

• You can follow the New Zealand team on Twitter @NZParalympics and Facebook.
 

- International Paralympic Committee

  
 

14 February 2014
Podiums for Hall and Peters Ahead of Paralympic Games
Recent podium results for New Zealand Paralympians Adam Hall and Corey Peters have them feeling confident ahead of the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games next month.

Alpine ski racers Adam Hall and Corey Peters competed at the 2014 IPC Alpine Skiing National Championships and NorAm Cup held in Aspen, USA from 10 – 13 February. Adam took the win in the men’s standing Super Combined event while Corey earned two second place finishes, in the Super Combined and the Super Giant Slalom men’s sitting class, and came fourth in the Downhill.

Adam, who will be looking to defend the gold medal he won in Slalom at the Vancouver Games in 2010 and also has his sights set on a top level result in the Super-Combined says, “I am extremely confident and happy with where I am.”

While they were pleased with their overall performances, the New Zealanders acknowledge that mistakes were also made, both posting DNFs in one Super G race. Adam was ahead at the first split by almost a second and looked to have a solid run in place before missing the last gate at the finish. Corey looked set for speed in his run, also posting the fastest split time before crashing five gates from the finish.

“When you’re pushing it that hard there’s always that chance it can go either way and today it didn't go the way I would've liked,” commented Corey. Adding, “but all in all, a great week with two second place podiums and just missing out on a third podium in downhill.”

“With 20 odd more days until the games we will continue to fine tune things and turn up to Sochi the best prepared we can,” said Adam.

The pair will now travel back to their base in Winter Park, Colorado before flying to Europe for their final days of training ahead of the Paralympic Winter Games. They will be joined in Sochi by para-snowboarder Carl Murphy who has recently returned to training following an injury in December.

The Paralympic Games take place from 7-16 March. Adam Hall will compete in Super-G, Super-Combined and Slalom. Corey Peters will compete in Super-G, Super-Combined, Slalom and Giant Slalom. Carl Murphy will compete in the new Paralympic discipline of Snowboard-Cross.

New Zealand will receive free-to-air coverage of the game through Attitude Pictures Ltd (APL), an award-winning independent production company specialising in content featuring people with impairments.

Attitude Pictures will present New Zealand audiences with 44 hours of free coverage and highlights packages as well as documentaries on competing athletes, via its innovative new web platform AttitudeLive.com.
 

- Snow Sport New Zealand

  
 

13 February 2014
Lydia Ko Scoops Top Honour at Westpac Halberg Awards
Golf prodigy Lydia Ko has taken the supreme honours at the 51st Westpac Halberg Awards at Vector Arena in Auckland tonight.

The golf star who went professional at aged 16 in 2013 was named the ‘High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year’ before claiming the Halberg Award honours.

To win the supreme award Ko headed off other Halberg Award contenders; IndyCar champion and ‘High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportsman of the Year’ winner, Scott Dixon, ‘Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Disabled Sportsperson of the Year’ winner, Sophie Pascoe and ‘Westpac Team of the Year’ winner, the All Blacks.

Ko, who won three tournaments in 2013 including defending her Canadian Open title, received the news of her success during a live video link from the awards ceremony to Melbourne where she is playing in the Women’s Australian Open.

To take the High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year Award honours, Ko edged out three-time Halberg Award winner Valerie Adams, world champion canoeist Lisa Carrington and swimmer Lauren Boyle.

It was also a big night for the All Blacks who capped off an undefeated 2013 season by winning the Westpac Team of the Year, SKY SPORT Coach of the Year (Steven Hansen) awards, while Captain Richie McCaw was honoured with the Sport New Zealand Leadership Award.

The Black Sox winning the Softball World Championship was selected as New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment of 2013 in the only Westpac Halberg Award category determined solely by public vote.

Para swimmer Sophie Pascoe took home the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Disabled Sportsperson of the Year Award for the third consecutive year. Pascoe’s five gold medals at the IPC World Championships saw her take the award ahead of fellow para swimming world champion Mary Fisher, blind bowling world champion David Monk and para shooting world record holder Mike Johnson.

Scott Dixon who was IndyCar champion for a third time in 2013 won the High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportsman of the Year category ahead of IRB Player of the Year, All Black Kieran Read, world number one eventing champion Andrew Nicholson and track cycling world champion Aaron Gate.

Fourteen year old swimmer Gabrielle Fa’amausili received the Westpac Emerging Talent award and a $10,000 Westpac sporting scholarship. The category, designed to identify and assist a young athlete in their quest to become an Olympic, Paralympic and/or World Champion, and hopefully one day win the Halberg Award was closely contested by surfer Ella Williams, rower Tom Murray and motorcyclist Jake Lewis.

During the awards ceremony former All Black Jonah Lomu and Olympic champion cyclist Sarah Ulmer were inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. They were presented with their honours by Dame Susan Devoy (squash) and Bryan Williams (rugby).

Graham Sycamore of Invercargill was recognised with the Lion Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for over 50 years of service to cycling. The Southerner has been involved as a competitor, administration and commissaire including officiating at six World Championships, seven Commonwealth Games and three Olympic Games.

The Eagles Golfing Society of New Zealand, who began their support of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation more than 40 years ago, presented the Foundation with a cheque for $150,517.06, lifting their support since 1969 to more than $4.1million.

This donation, coupled with proceeds raised from the 51st Westpac Halberg Awards will assist with the core work of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation. The charity, set up by Olympic champion Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ), aims to enhance the lives of physically disabled New Zealanders by enabling them to participate in sport and recreation.
 

- Westpac Halberg Awards  
 

12 February 2014
Sochi 2014 Paralympics Broadcast Rights in New Zealand Awarded to Attitude Pictures
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has awarded the host broadcast rights in New Zealand for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games to Attitude Pictures Ltd (APL), an award-winning independent production company specialising in content featuring people with impairments.

Attitude Pictures will present New Zealand audiences with 44 hours of free coverage and highlights packages from Sochi 2014 March 7-16, as well as documentaries on competing athletes, via its innovative new web platform AttitudeLive.com.

APL has secured the support of three major New Zealand partners to make coverage from Sochi possible:
• NZ On Air has agreed to provide up to $261,000 funding to provide a documentary special including broad coverage of the Games;
• ACC has become an Official Partner of AttitudeLive;
• TVNZ will be the free-to-air broadcast partner providing news, highlight packages and OnDemand content for the duration of the Sochi Games.

In addition to providing the most comprehensive coverage ever of a Paralympic Winter Games in New Zealand, Attitude Pictures has an option to provide coverage from the athletics, shooting and swimming World Championships over the next two years.

Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “We are delighted with this agreement with Attitude Pictures as it means more Paralympic coverage in New Zealand than ever before.

“Attitude Pictures has a fantastic track record and global reputation for creating and delivering high quality content regarding para-sport and people with an impairment. I am confident that through this partnership the profile of para-sport and Kiwi athletes in particular will increase significantly.

“One of the stand-out moments of the Vancouver 2010 Games featured Adam Hall, a Kiwi athlete who won slalom gold. It is great news that should a New Zealand athlete repeat such success in Sochi more people will have the opportunity to see it either live, on-demand or through highlights packages.”

Paralympics New Zealand CEO Fiona Allan said: “New Zealand’s 17-medal haul at the London 2012 Paralympic Games has stimulated even more interest in Paralympic Sport. With Sochi 2014 just a few weeks away, we look forward to sharing the stories and successes of our three Winter Paralympians Adam Hall, Carl Murphy and Corey Peters.”

APL founder and chief executive Robyn Scott-Vincent believes the deal is a highly collaborative agreement where APL, as the rights holder of Paralympic media content, will actively drive a strategy of sharing content with other media to ensure the broadest coverage possible. NZ On Air funding has enabled the Attitude team to be in Sochi for the Games.

“Attitude’s producers will package highlights for TVNZ and we are talking to other potential media partners,” Scott-Vincent said. “We will also continue our well-established and critically acclaimed documentaries profiling New Zealand athletes.

“Part of our belief is that we need to engage the audience and raise the profile of the athletes and that this will help change attitudes towards the one in five New Zealanders who live with disability. These athletes are role models. The countless medals achieved by NZ Paralympians like Adam Hall, Sophie Pascoe, Cameron Leslie and others show what’s possible. But we’re eager to encourage young people to see a pathway in sport whether that is rehabilitation, recreation or elite performance.”

NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson said: “We are very pleased to support this project, which will give audiences back home the ability to follow the incredible efforts, and we hope successes, of our Paralympic athletes in action in Sochi. This project is an excellent example of the importance of diversity on our screens, and of how NZ On Air strives to meet the needs of audiences.”

TVNZ Head of Television Jeff Latch said TVNZ is proud to be the television and online partner again for highlights of the Paralympics.

“We have a long standing partnership with Attitude Pictures and look forward to working with Robyn and her team in bringing coverage from Sochi to New Zealand audiences,” he said.

ACC is also partnering Attitude Pictures and AttitudeLive, recognising the strong role that sport and activity can play in the rehabilitation of men and women back to everyday life after an accident.
ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering said: “Attitude Picture’s broadcast partnership provides a unique, affirmative, national opportunity to highlight positive rehabilitation outcomes and the inspiring achievements of New Zealand’s Paralympians. ACC is proud to support this initiative.”

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place between March 7 - 16 and will feature around 600 athletes from 44 countries. They will compete in 72 medal events across five sports – alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.
 

- Attitude Pictures and International Paralympic Committee   
 

11 February 2014
Variety Seeks Talented Kiwi Kids for Gold Heart Scholarships
Variety - The Children’s Charity wants to help Kiwi kids reach their full potential in education, music, art, and sport through its Gold Heart Scholarship programme.

Applications for Gold Heart Scholarships are now open. Gold Heart Scholarships provide talented Kiwi kids who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged with up to $5,000 to support their goal and matches them with a mentor to assist them. To apply children should already be proficient in their field and show passion and commitment to achieve a long-term aspirational goal.

A unique aspect of the scholarship is that each recipient is assigned a leading professional or celebrity mentor to encourage and support them throughout the year.

Eleven - year - old Tupou Neifi, a 2013 Gold Heart Scholarship recipient, says there are no words to express how grateful she is for her scholarship.

“Being a Gold Heart Scholarship recipient has helped me get a step closer to achieving my dream of one day representing New Zealand as a Paralympic swimmer. Nothing is ever easy, but with hard work, determination, self-belief and the love and support of family and friends we can achieve anything!" she said.

With her scholarship, Mangere local Tupou is well on her way to becoming a world-class Paralympic Swimmer. Five nights a week she trains with other young athletes at her swim school in Pakuranga.

Gold Heart Scholarships form part of Variety’s Future Kiwi Kids programme. The Variety Gold Heart Scholarship Programme makes up to $5,000 available per annum for up to three years to help children who are physically or financially challenged to fulfill their dreams. This could include assisting with tuition fees, personal development, coaching, and the purchase of training equipment, travel or accommodation.

 

To download an application form click here or to go to the Variety page click here

 

- Variety - The Children’s Charity

  
 

4 February 2014
Paralympics New Zealand launches Express Lane
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is excited to announce the launch of PNZ Express Lane, a nation-wide talent search programme targeted at increasing the number of new Para-Swimmers in the S1 to S5 classifications.

With the support of the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Agitos Foundation, the project will actively identify, recruit and support disabled athletes who have significant impairments, and provide the required support to assist them to begin swimming.

The programme will provide support to new Para-Swimmers to assist in overcoming some of the challenges that may occur when getting involved in the sport competitively. Types of support may include coaching, access to pool/lane space, initial travel to training sessions, camps and competitions.

Hadleigh Pierson (PNZ Talent Identification Manager) says, “The PNZ Para-Swimming Programme continues to go from strength to strength. Through the support from the IPC, we have an exciting opportunity to further grow the programme and ensure we are competitive across all classifications”.

Impairments in the S1 to S5 classifications may include; significant loss of function in the legs and trunk (i.e.: spinal-cord injuries), amputations of three or four limbs and sever co-ordination problems in three or four limbs (i.e.: cerebral palsy).

If there are athletes interested in registering for PNZ Express Lane, please contact PNZ Talent Identification Manager, Hadleigh Pierson, at hpierson@paralympics.org.nz.
 

- Paralympics New Zealand
 


Last Updated | Friday, 27 June 2014