Teen teams up with Olympian

Central Leader - - SPORT - By ALASTAIR LYNN

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.

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