Bryce, an ex farmer who after an accident in 2002 was left as a tetraplegic at the age of 39. He found keeping a level of fitness and finding sporting opportunities near impossible. Bryce has had positions on School Boards and a Disability Trust and saw Parafed as a way to help others in his situation to be involved in sport. He found that people with physical impairments had very few opportunities to be involved in Sport, and without a provider such as Parafed athletes options are limited.
Neil was injured at 17 playing rugby, where everything revolved around the sport and achieving at numerous levels. Being involved in sport post-injury has balanced and enabled Neil’s success in gaining tertiary qualifications, running a business, playing and coaching provincial sport, being a family member and a father. All of this coming together has taken him to one of the highest points any tetraplegic has been on a hand cycle, cycling 1000 km’s from Lasa, Tibet to Kathmandu, Nepal and to over 5000m above sea level at Everest base camp. This is what sport and being involved in sport has done for Neil and why he would like others to have these opportunities too.
An active sportsperson throughout her life, Stacey believes sport is the vehicle for social change. Having cerebral palsy, Stacey has a unique perspective on the world of disability sport, which makes her an important team member within the disability sport community. She was employed by the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation for 11 years and captained the New Zealand Boccia Team at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics where they placed 4th. She is very passionate about making more sporting opportunities possible for everyone.
Amanda is a physically fit and very active woman. In 2013 she broke her neck diving off her surfboard. Her injury and subsequent tetraplegia dramatically changed how she lived her life. Amanda, while learning the challenges of tetraplegia, realised that sport was something that made life in a wheelchair a little easier. The physical release and fulfilment of swimming, and the intensity and camaraderie of wheelchair rugby, have helped her and her young family begin to create a 'new normal'. She is now a strong advocate for disabled people to have these opportunities available to them. Focused on bringing positive change she has become a member of various disability boards and committees in the Bay of Plenty.
Despite relentless health issues, Johnny has accomplished so much and has experienced the best health of his life in the last two years; life was looking bright! He studied and worked in the accountancy field, and is now pursuing his passion for sport by completing a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation.
In the last two years, Johnny has dropped 20 kgs and committed to a rigorous training programme including swimming, weight training and wheelchair sport. He also has a passion for nutrition, living a healthy lifestyle, and an unwavering commitment to his studies.
“Johnny makes a massive contribution as an athlete, advocate and coach, and as a board member of Parafed Bay of Plenty, which develops sporting opportunities for people with physical disabilities,”