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 hamishm@parafedauckland.co.nz 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
hamishm@parafedauckland.co.nz
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 evan@parafedauckland.co.nz - New additions to the squad are always welcome. 

Anna Grimaldi.jpg

2017 Parafed Auckland Scholarship Programme Launched

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

This exciting development is been launched off the back of New Zealand's most successful ever Paralympic Games, with the team in Rio finishing 13th overall on the medal table, while ranking number one in the world per head of population. 

The new programme has been developed in consultation with Paralympics NZ and 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, the Paralympic Games. Having worked closely with Paralympics to develop this programme I'm very confident we will achieve that aim."

To receive more information and request an application pack please email hamishm@parafedauckland.co.nz or call 09 270 2503
Application close on the 1st of November at 4pm. 

2015-2016 Parafed Auckland AGM a success.

The 51st Annual General Meeting of the Auckland Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Association was held on Saturday the 3rd of September. A small but committed group of members turned out to approve the re-election of Board members Grant Sharman and Robert Berger, who have both served three year terms on the board. The other big news was the ratification of changes to the constitution, which will be uploaded to the society's website in the coming months. 
A brief presentation from CEO Hamish Meacheam outlined the direction of the organisation for the coming years, with a strong focus on growing the capability and capacity of the organisation and wider Parafed Network.