2015 has been an incredible year for Parafed Otago. We have seen a substantial Increase in membership and active participation in our events and sports. We have also continued to provide more sporting opportunities as well as a better quality service to our members.
As most of you will be aware we are still developing as an organisation that is sustainable and capable of delivering the service we know we are capable of.
We have been very fortunate to secure new members to our committee who are all working extremely hard to ensure we are equipped well enough to strive into the future.
We have had a wonderful amount of success this year below are highlighted some of the top stories from this year.
Junior Disability Games – Parafed Otago provided the back bone and imputes to take a team of 15 young athletes to the 2015 Halberg Junior Disability Games. All of our athletes performed admirably and competed with a wonderful spirit; this was recognised by the events managers as we were awarded the team spirit award for 2015.
We had some magnificent individual performances at the games with a couple of athletes identified as potential Paralympians for the future.
Snow Sports – 2015 is the first year that Parafed Otago has taken the reigns in running the Adaptive snow sports program and a lot of learning can be taken from the experience.
We are able to take 16 skiers up to Cadrona and the Remarkable’s over 3 weekends, with the conditions being fantastic on all but one of the days. The level of skill on show from our skiers and boarders was exceptional and everyone who skied with us at some point this year should be proud of their development.
We are fantastically supported by an amazing group of students from the School of Physical Education at the University of Otago. They injected such vibrancy and life into the program.
Cycling – For the first time we worked with Paralympics NZ and Cycling Otago to organise a cycling pathway event. The attendance over the 5 weeks we ran the program was great, Paralympics were able to do some speed and power tests and everybody involved was able to enjoy being out on their bikes and brilliant cycle ways that we have access to in Dunedin.
Boccia – Once again Boccia is a sport of great strength in Otago being incredibly well led by Paul Coffey. The South Island champs were incredibly well organised and a real winter highlight. The Team also did them self’s justice at the national champs bring home a host of awards and titles.
2016 and Beyond
Continuation of our development and changes to the way we promote and host our events, there is also going to be some changes to some of our programs.
We are aiming to relaunch the Wheelchair rugby program in the autumn, we are hoping to have an adept and knowledgeable group of player’s coaches and support staff around the sport to give us the best change at producing a team that is able to represent Otago.
Wheelchair basketball is a sport that has had a lot of focus in the past. We are looking at a concept that will enable those interested in the game more training and playing time. Keep an eye out for some exciting developments in the coming months!
Following on from the success of last year’s Junior Disability Games we have set some lofty aims for this year. We are hoping to take a team of about the same size but we are hoping to see an increase in the team ethic and the pre competition training opportunities. We have recently had some column inches in the Otago Daily times as well as some airtime on Dunedin TV. We are hoping to attract some new athletes to the wider games squad.
Overall we have been pleased with the shape this year has taken. It wouldn’t have been possible without the backing of our sponsors and the continued support of the Halberg Disability Sport foundation.