Awards recognise high achievers
Nominations are open for the sixth Attitude Awards, an annual black tie gala event that celebrates high achievers who have taken on the world and its perception of disability.
Entrants range from supreme athletes to lesser known New Zealanders whose family, friends and neighbours think they should be recognised for their courage, perseverance, or support for people who live with disabilities.
Attitude Awards Trustee Dan Buckingham, a member of the elite Wheel Black team, says success for the award winners means more than just winning a medal or prize.
It’s about perceptions.
‘‘ In six years of the awards we’ve had winners who challenge what people think it means to have a disability,’’ said Dan.
‘‘We look for the stories of courage and determination that change the way people view what is achievable with a disability – that’s what the Attitude Awards are about.’’
Robbie Francis, who won the Attitude ACC Supreme Award in 2009, says the award has helped define her life.
Shortly after the win she travelled to Israel to study International Conflict Resolution and
ultimately changing Mediation. The experience opened doors to a different world that challenged her and pushed her to decide that one day she would help with peace initiatives throughout the world.
Paralympic swimmer Sophie Pascoe won the Attitude Sport Performer of the Year Award in 2011.
She went on to win a string of gold medals at the London Paralympics last year and has become an inspiration to people living with disabilities.
There are seven categories in the awards: Sport Performer of the Year, Courage in Sport, Artistic Achievement, Youth, Spirit of Attitude, ACC Employer Award and the Making a Difference Award.
The Attitude ACC Supreme Award is selected from the category winners.
New ACC chief executive Scott Pickering says he is really looking forward to attending his first Attitude Awards.
‘‘The spirit of the awards, which is about finding strength from within and from those around us, resonates with us all,’’ Mr Pickering said.
‘‘It’s especially inspiring for us here at ACC, where our role is to give people the best possible support after injury, to help them meet their rehabilitation and life goals.’’
ACC is the principal sponsor of the awards, and Lion Foundation, New Zealand on Air, Westpac, Drake Medox, Air New Zealand, Ministry of Health, Wayne Francis Charitable Trust and the IHC Foundation are among other sponsors continuing their support.