Lizzie Heads Home

Current Parafed Auckland staff member Lizzie Edgecombe has made the tough decision to move back to the UK to be closer to her family in October.

With 2 months to go until her departure we are starting the recruitment process early to allow time for a handover period.

“I’m gutted to be heading back to the UK at this very exciting time for Parafed Auckland with our new CEO Tom starting soon. However, I’m sure there is a great candidate for my role out there to continue the progress Parafed Auckland has made. Please share the job advert with your network to ensure we get the best possible candidates applying to become the new me!

My last day will be the 12th October after the 2018 Halberg Games so I’ll save the soppy stuff until then.”

New CEO announced

Parafed Auckland are incredibly excited to announce the organisations new CEO, Tom Smith, who will be starting his position in mid-August. An experienced manager & leader in sport Tom has acquired over 12 years of experience and knowledge in the disability sport sector, working nationally for The England Wales Cricket Board, Sport England and Special Olympics GB.

Tom said: ‘This is an amazing opportunity for me to be involved with disability Sport in New Zealand. Parafed Auckland is an exciting organisation and I’m looking forward to the challenge of how we grow and provide more opportunities for people with disabilities.’

Chairperson Grant Sharman had the pleasure of catching up with Tom at Lord’s Cricket Ground!

Key Experience:

  • 16 years working in sports and physical activity sectors, with a focus on disability sport
  • Comprehensive experience developed across: Sport England, Governing Body, Local Government and Charity sectors
  • Was disability Lead on Whole Sport Plans for 12 NGBs
  • Responsible for National Strategy development for Disability & Youth Cricket
  • Budgetary and business planning for national programmes
  • Extensive project and programme management and delivery
  • Has a strong understanding of Special Olympics through period working with the organisation and as a board member.                                                                                               

Recent Roles: 

  • National Growth Manager, Disabilities for England and Wales Cricket Board
  • For 3 years as Senior Manager Disability with Sport England
  • Spent 5 years working on Community Engagement for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics
  • Post London 2012 was with SOGB for 15 months as London Officer then National Partnership Manager
  • Worked for a number of London boroughs in sport and health development

Kelly Griffin Challenge 2018

On Saturday 7th April, 24 women came together to participate in the Kelly Griffin Challenge 2018 which was supported by Invacare New Zealand. As the only women’s wheelchair basketball event in NZ it was fantastic to see so many people come together to play and support the event. Players ranged from those who have been playing for years whilst for others it was their first taste of the sport, including Auckland Dream players! And that is what this event and ongoing training is all about – bringing women together, whether they have a disability or not, to have fun and hopefully instil a life-long love of wheelchair basketball that will help it grow and develop in NZ. After one year, the number of women playing wheelchair basketball in Auckland has increased from 11 to 20 players.

The day was split into training in the morning, a 3x3 tournament and a 5x5 finale. It was concluded with an awards ceremony and evening meal. The 3x3 tournament was closely contested with each game being tight. Mii Pepe, ref on the day and NZ Roller Blacks player, commented “some awesome talent out there and skills”. Currently NZ don’t have a women’s wheelchair basketball team but many of the Auckland players would love to see that change. They intend to form their own team for some of the NZ competitions to show that they are here, and they’re here to stay.

The 3x3 tournament results:

  • Gold - Daniella Egle-Bast, Te Rongopai McNaught and Faithleen Tou
  • Silver – Cathy Parker, Stacey Teiho and AJ Pouoa
  • Bronze – Tamara Gotty, Jewel Byles, Matakorama Waipouri


Invacare MVP

  • Low Pointer – Faithleen Tou
  • Mid Pointer – Daisy Eaglesome
  • High Pointer – Cathy Parker

Invacare Most Improved

  • Junior – Jewel Byles
  • Senior – Beccie Gannon

Kelly Griffin Spirit of the Game Award

  •  Runners up – Faithleen Tou and Daisy Eaglesome
  •  Winner – Daniella Egle-Bast

The day would not have been possible without volunteer support. Special thanks to all the people who continue to give their time freely to enable wheelchair basketball here in Auckland to thrive.

  • Organising Committee – Lizzie Edgecombe, Cathy Parker, Daniella Egle-Bast, Dave Sherriff, Brendon Stratton and Diane Eaglesome
  • Coaches – Dave Sherriff and Brendon Stratton
  • Referees – Mark Sullivan, Mii Pepe, Ricardo Gozon and Warren Putt
  • Score Bench – Kauri Murray, Leighton Teiho, Matt Ngametua, Daniel Goulton, Tere Tuakana and Steve Hei
  • Event Assistance – Tina Harris and Emma Cooper-Williams
  • Photographers – Lise Baldwin and Lucky Kaukau

Final thanks goes to the family of Kelly Griffin – Jenny, Dan and Katey. Thank you for continuing to support the Kelly Griffin Challenge and to Katey for joining in the 5x5 finale, it’s always great to have you on the court. Kelly will never be forgotten.

Meacheam moving on

Current Parafed Auckland CEO Hamish Meacheam has signaled his intention to move on from his position at Parafed Auckland. 

"After a fantastic three years with Parafed Auckland, I am moving onto Athletics New Zealand to take up the Community Manager role. Athletics is my first love and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into the work I’ll be doing.
It has been incredibly rewarding to be a part of the revival of Parafed Auckland over the past three years, but more importantly it has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside all of you, improving the landscape of Para sport here in Auckland. I’m confident that the organisation and the sector will continue to go from strength to strength, indeed I look forward to playing a small role in that ongoing success.
A special thanks must go to the board of Parafed Auckland, and especially the two chairmen during my tenure, Grant Sharman and Andre Lubbe. Grant and Andre had the vision of what Parafed Auckland could become, and gave me the trust and guidance needed to get the job done. Alongside my board, I would also like to thank all of the volunteers who run the various activities within the Parafed network – you are the lifeblood of Para sport in New Zealand. Finally I must mention the athletes, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure of introducing to Para sport, and then watch develop not only as athletes, but as people. All of you will always hold a special place in my heart." 

Hamish is moving on to become the Community Manager for Athletics New Zealand, and his last day will be the 26th of April. before this time there will be more information on our plans in the interim as we seek a replacement CEO to lead our organisation forward.

Auckland Para athletes get scholarship boost

Thirteen talented young Para athletes have been announced as recipients of the Parafed Auckland Scholarship programme for 2018. The scholarship programme is backed by two organisations with a long history of supporting athletes with a physical impairment; The Carbine Club, and the Auckland Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Trust.

The tiered scholarship structure provides appropriate support to Auckland based Para athletes who are tracking towards representing New Zealand at future Paralympic Games.

Hamish Meacheam, CEO of Parafed Auckland commented, “We have significantly increased the size of our scholarship programme in 2018, because there is a genuine need for Para athletes to receive more support as they begin their journey towards the Paralympic Games. We are very grateful to the Carbine Club and the Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Trust for their increased level of support to allow us to do this.”

Peter Jeffares, well known Auckland business personality and President of the Carbine Club commented, “The Carbine Club of New Zealand is once again thrilled to be able to support Parafed Auckland who this year have 13 Para athletes receiving scholarships. The Carbine Club has been a supporter of Parafed Auckland, as well as Paralympics New Zealand, for over a decade, with funds being raised via a series of luncheons during the year plus its hugely successful annual golf tournament. 
The Carbine Club, alongside the Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Trust and Parafed Auckland, wish the recipients all the very best in their chosen events and are delighted that our contribution can assist them to pursue their goals.”

2018 Parafed Auckland Scholarship Recipients

Carbine Club Scholarships (For athletes tracking towards the 2020 and 2024 Paralympic Games)

Sarah Ellington – Para cycling; C2 Cyclist, North Harbour Cycling Club

Keegan Pitcher – Para athletics; T36 Sprint events, Owairaka Athletics.

Neelam O’Neil – shooting Para sport; Parafed Auckland Shooting Club

Nick Blincoe – Para cycling; C4 Cyclist, Auckland Central Cycling Club

Tama Satrioni Tapusoa Solouota – Para swimming; S14 Howick Pakuranga Swimming Club

Courtney Scholarship (Premier award for outstanding Ambassador for Para sport in Auckland)

Tupou Neiufi – Para swimming; S9, SB8, SM9 Howick Pakuranga Swimming Club

Trust Scholarships (For developing athletes aiming for international competition in the next 1-3 years)

John Foote – Shooting Para Sport; Parafed Auckland Shooting Club

Anna Steven – Para athletics; T64 North Harbour Bays Athletics

Mitch Joynt – Para athletics; T64 North Harbour Bays Athletics

Natalie Brunzel – Shooting Para Sport; Parafed Auckland Shooting club

Josh Crean - Para alpine skiing; Sacred Heart College

Alyssa Baxter – Para athletics; T37 Owairaka Athletics Club

Tayla Clement – Para athletics; F44 North Harbour Bays Athletics


For further comment, or information on specific athletes, please contact;

Hamish Meacheam
CEO – Parafed Auckland
027 324 1976

Interviews with scholarship recipients can be arranged via the above contact.

Sarah Ellington competing at the The 2017 VANTAGE Windows and Doors Elite & U19  Track National Championships

Sarah Ellington competing at the The 2017 VANTAGE Windows and Doors Elite & U19 Track National Championships

2018 Parafed Scholarship Programme Open

In association with the Carbine Club and the Auckland Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Trust, Parafed Auckland is extremely pleased to launch our 2018 Scholarship Programme to support the next generation of Auckland Paralympians. 

The new programme was developed in consultation with Paralympics NZ in 2016, and has been very successful in it's first year. The programme is designed to target support to those with the potential to not only attend, but win medals at future Paralympic Games. Parafed Auckland CEO Hamish Meacheam summed up the intent of the programme, "As a grassroots organisation our primary focus has and always will be on supporting athletes to get into sustainable community sport, but thanks to partners such as the Auckland Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Trust, and the Carbine Club, we are very happy to be able to support more of our members to reach the pinnacle of Para-Sport, our results from year one show we are on track to achieve that."

Some of the standout recipients from 2016 include Rio Paralympian Tupou Neiufi and Para athletics breakout star Keegan Pitcher, who won two bronze medals at the 2016 World Para Athletics Championships in London. 

To receive more information and or to fill in an online appliaction, visit this page;
Application close on the 1st of December at 4pm. 

The Kelly Griffin Women's Wheelchair Basketball Challenge

On Saturday 27th May an inaugural event occurred – The Kelly Griffin Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Challenge.

It was a day filled with remembrance, hard work, learning and laughter. Following 2 previous women’s only training sessions, 13 women came to the Trusts Arena for an action-packed day. The group varied in age, impairment, and experience level but shared the common goal of wanting to play wheelchair basketball. Throughout the morning, coaches Dave and Brendon shared their wisdom to educate the girls on many different skills and tactics that would come to help them in the 3x3 tournament that followed.

After the players had re-fuelled at lunch, it was time to remember and honour Kelly Griffin. Kelly was an incredible player and from the speeches given, it was clear that she was an even better person and one that will be dearly missed. Kelly’s parents very kindly donated a trophy to the event – The Kelly Ann Griffin Spirit of the Game Award. It was to be given to a player who demonstrated similar characteristics to Kelly’s – determination, skill, humour, sportsmanship and support.

With Kelly in everyone’s hearts, it was time to take that passion and determination to the court in the 3x3 tournament. Each team fought valiantly with matches being close each time. However, with any good tournament there can only be one winner and on this occasion, that went to the blue team consisting of Daisy Eaglesome, Justine Hunter and Emma Conaglen. Second place was the red team (Cathy Parker, Kaeti Rigarlsford and Grace Lee), white team took third place (Faithleen Tou, Maia Lewis, Jewel Byles and Emma Cooper-Williams) whilst the navy team came in a respectable fourth (Catarina Owen, Daniella Egle-Bast and Lizzie Edgecombe).

But it wasn’t over yet! Singlets were changed and new teams were formed for the 5x5 finale. Despite the previous 6 hours of exercise, everyone continued to push to the closing whistle and played some excellent wheelchair basketball demonstrating what strong players these ladies are when given the chance to shine.

The day was wrapped up with an awards ceremony where the winning 3x3 team won a 3-month subscription to Real Health NZ, and Daisy Eaglesome was awarded the Kelly Griffin Spirit of the Game Award. Cathy, Justine and Daniella were all runners up and received a pair of stripy socks in Kelly’s honour.

None of the day would’ve been possible without the hard-work of all the volunteers involved:

  • Event organisers – Diane Eaglesome, Cathy Parker and Daniella Egle-Bast

  • Coaches – Dave Sheriff and Brendon Stratton

  • Officials – Mark Sullivan, Mike Hall, Ric Gozon and Mii Pepe

  • Score Bench – Jaden Movold, Daniel Goulton, Denise Owen

  • Photographer – Lise Baldwin

Throughout the day there was heaps of positive energy and a brilliant atmosphere radiating from all involved, and with the Kelly Griffin Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Challenge planned to return for 2018, you can be a part of that next year too.

Check out the photos from the event on our Facebook page: Parafed Auckland - Disability Sport

Blog writers wanted

Are you about to try a new activity of sport? Do you want to highlight some of the cool stuff you do? Are you looking for a way to contribute to the Parafed community?
Parafed Auckland is now recruiting for blog writers, to highlight some of the awesome activities that our members take part in, and help to encourage others in the community to get out and try new things. 
While a huge focus for Parafed Auckland is sport, we also have a strong membership base who get out and do all sorts of different stuff, like community events, international travel, motor sport, extreme sports - you name it, our members are into it. 

These blogs are all about us highlighting you, and what you are doing, but in a context that others will find entertaining and informative. And maybe even provide an inspiration for others to get involved in something similar. 

In an effort to make sure the quality is high, Parafed Auckland is willing to contribute $100 to the costs of any activities for those that have their blog published. If you are interested please email today to talk about your next adventure! 

2017 Scholarship Recipients Announced

Eleven talented young Para-Athletes have been announced as recipients of the Parafed Auckland Scholarship programme for 2017. The new scholarship programme is backed by two organisations with a long history of supported physically disabled athletes; The Auckland Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Trust, and the Carbine Club.

The launch of the new scholarship programme comes a few months after the end of New Zealand’s most successful Paralympic Games, ever. The Team secured a stunning 21 medals across 12 individual medallists – 9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze – beating its pre-Games target of 18 by 3 medals. Parafed Auckland worked alongside Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) to develop a tiered scholarship structure to provide appropriate support to a range of athletes.

Four Para-Athletes received “Trust Scholarships” supported by the Auckland Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Trust, which is an organisation that aims to enhance the lives of physically disabled Aucklander’s through Sport and Recreation. The Trust Scholarships are targeted at Para-Athletes who are working towards their first international competition in the next 1-2 years.

An additional five Para-Athletes received Carbine Club Scholarships, supported by the Carbine Club and the Sir Dennis Blundell Trust. The Carbine Club is a charitable club that aims to celebrate sporting excellence and raise money, to support athletes with a disability. The Carbine Club Scholarship is targeted at “Pathway to Podium” level Para-Athletes who have been identified as having potential to medal at Paralympic or world championship events in 4-8 years.

The top scholarship awarded is the Courtney Scholarship, which is named for the Courtney Family. Robert Courtney was a long time Parafed Auckland member, board member, organiser and exceptional athlete. He won a gold medal in the 1984 Stoke Mandeville Paralympic Games, and went on to become one of the world’s first professional Paralympians. Rob’s mother Val, the patron of Parafed Auckland, was the lead organiser of Parafed activity for over a decade, and was instrumental in the development of Para-Sport in Auckland. The one off scholarship is for an Para-Athlete who through outstanding commitment, attitude and ability, demonstrates the potential to medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

The winner of the Courtney Scholarship for 2017 is Tupou Neiufi, who at only 15 years of age was a late addition to the New Zealand Rio 2016 Paralympics Games Team. South Auckland based Tupou, exceeded all expectations at the Games to make a Paralympic final. Tupou has a long association with Parafed Auckland, being identified and supported early in her swimming career at the Howick Pakuranga Swim Club under the guidance of her coach Sheldon Kemp. Tupou initially began swimming as a form of therapy, having been hit by a speeding car when she was just two years old, which has resulted in a left sided hemiplegia, meaning she has paralysis on the left side of her body. Tupou wished to thank Parafed Auckland and its partners for the scholarship, “Thanks to the funding it will help me keep moving forward, working towards my goal of medalling at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games. I am a proud South Aucklander andfeel very honoured to receive a scholarship named after Robert Courtney, another South Aucklander who was on of New Zealand's greatest Paralympians.”
Hamish Meacheam, CEO of Parafed Auckland commented, “Tupou and all of the other recipients are incredible Para-Athletes, who we are proud to support. We must acknowledge the backing of the Carbine Club as well as the Auckland Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Trust in making these much needed scholarships possible.”

2017 Parafed Auckland Scholarship Recipients

Trust Scholarships

Anna Stevens; Anna is a 17 year old Westlake Girls student who lost her right leg to cancer. Anna is developing her talents in Para-Athletics under the watchful eye of Liam Malones coach, James Mortimer.

Ethan Rangi; Ethan is a Para-Athlete with a focus on the sprints and long jump events, having previously competed for New Zealand, Ethan is training at the Bays Athletics Club to bring his times down to Paralympic qualification level.

Keegan Pitcher; Born with Cerebral Palsy, Keegan was discovered by Parafed Auckland after a long history of participating in able bodied sport. He’s joined the Auckland Wheelchair Rugby training squad but is primarily focused on Para-Athletics, as a T36 he plans to attack the New Zealand records for 400m and 800m in 2017.

Tamara Gotty; Following a sporting accident, Pukekohe based Tamara spent time in the Auckland Regional Spinal Unit in 2016, where she was recruited into the Auckland team for the Junior Disability Games. Throwing the Shot Put of the first time, Tamara reached 6 metres from a seated position – catching the eye of the Parafed Auckland Para-Athletics coaches. Tamara now plays Wheelchair Basketball and is training towards her first year in Para-Athletics.

Carbine Club Scholarships

John Lee; John is a Para-Cyclist who studies accounting and lives on the North Shore. John rides a modified trike and won several silver medals nationally in 2016. John is a member of High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) Pathway to Podium squad.

Losalini Harford; Losalini is a former international cricketer who had a stroke in 2011. She is now a competitive Para-Cyclist who is aiming for Tokyo 2020 qualification.

Neelam O’Neil; Neelam is a Para-Shooter who has represented New Zealand internationally and is an active coach at the Parafed Auckland Shooting Club. Neelam, who has a Fijian Indian heritage, is aiming for the 2017 World Cup in Korea.

Nick Blincoe; Nick comes from a very sporting family, with brother Adrian holding the New Zealand 5000m record. Nick himself was a New Zealand Schoolboys Rugby representative until a rugby accident changed the direction of his sporting future. After taking up Para-Cycling less than a year ago, Nick was only 4 seconds of qualifying for Rio 2016 in the 1km Track Race. 

Oliva Upston; 15 year old Olivia Upston, from Parnell, has been swimming since the age of eight and competing nationally since 2013. Her immediate goals are qualification for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and eventually the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. 

Courtney Scholarship

Tupou Neiufi; Tupou continues the fine tradition of South Auckland based Paralympians. As a lateselection to Rio Tupou defied all expectations to make a final. In Tokyo 2020 her goals will be much higher.

For further comment, please contact;

Hamish Meacheam
CEO – Parafed Auckland
027 324 1976

Interviews with scholarship recipients can be arranged via the above contact. 

Para Athletes and Para Swimming Squads Launch

October is a busy month for potential Para Athletes in Auckland. Hot on the heels of New Zealand's most successful Paralympics Games Performance, Parafed Auckland are launching a new squads for those looking to transition into the Paralympics NZ High Performance Programme. 
The Swimming Squad is led by former Para-Swimmer Shaun Foley, who is a specialist Para-Swim Coach. The sessions will rotate venues around Auckland and is designed for Athletes who are committed to training at least 3 times a week & goals of competing nationally. 
The Athletics Squad has partnered with Bays Athletics Club and Owairaka Athletics Club, with trainings set to rotate between these two venues and the Parafed Gym in Otara. Parafed Auckland CEO Hamish Meacheam, will lead the programme with assistance from a variety of specialist coaches. Again these sessions are designed for those who are keen to commit to multiple training sessions and are keen to compete at national level events. 
For more information, fill in the "GET IN THE GAME" tab, or email - New additions to the squad are always welcome. 

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