Teen teams up with Olympian
Sebastian Filipe is set to sweat it out with some of New Zealand’s best athletes.
The 13-year-old has been preparing for the inaugural Halberg Tri Challenge to help raise funds for physically disabled New Zealanders through sport.
Sebastian will team up with Olympic gold medal winner Joseph Sullivan and Halberg events manager Grant McCabe to push themselves to the limit.
‘‘I’m looking forward to being in Joe’s team,’’ the Mt Roskill Grammar School student says.
‘‘To get taught by him is really awesome.’’
Each team member will either cycle, row or run as far as they can for 20 minutes straight.
Sebastian will take up rowing, while Sullivan does the run and McCabe will cycle. The team has set a target of raising $15,000.
‘‘I’ve seen first-hand the work of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation and the difference it makes on the lives of young Kiwis,’’ Sullivan says.
‘‘I was involved.’’
Sebastian is an amputee who received a grant for wheelchair basketball lessons through the foun-
get dation. Now a fully fledged wheelchair basketballer, Sebastian says he originally found the sport difficult to grasp.
‘‘Now it’s really awesome,’’ he says. ‘‘I still need to work on my defence and offence but it’s getting much better.’’
Sebastian plays shooting guard, a position tasked with helping his team-mates dodge the defence.
For the moment Sebastian is focused on getting behind the rowing machine.
His team have been meeting regularly for training sessions and are confident they will do well.
‘‘[Joe] has shown me how to do the rowing properly,’’ Sebastian says.
‘‘It’s going to be hard but we can do it.
The Halberg Tri Challenge will be held at Vector Arena on June 26.
Prominent athletes including Silver Fern captain Laura Langman and former Silver Fern Anna Stanley will also be competing for the top spot.
Sebastian Filipe, left, is about to embark on a journey with Halberg events manager Grant McCabe and Olympic rowing champion Joe Sullivan.