Young athlete competes in Halberg Game
After donations made by the local community, young Levin athlete Rawiri Tristram and his family were able to attend the 2018 Halberg Games in Auckland earlier this month.
Hosted by the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, the Halberg Games is a national three day sports festival style event for physically disabled or visually impaired young athletes aged 8 to 21 years.
Rawiri, 9, competed for Team Manawatu¯ with fellow athlete Oliver Linton, led by Parafed Manawatu¯ and team manager Shaz Dagg.
It was the Horowhenua youngster's second time at the event, having attended and been awarded a special ‘Spirit Of The Games' award recognising his positive attitude last year.
This year, Rawiri competed in swimming, athletics, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair games.
He also attended the Invacare Wheelchair Racing Masterclass with Australian Paralympian Rheed McCracken, who holds the world record for the 100m T34 wheelchair race.
The masterclass was a way for budding wheelchair athletes to gain racing tips and advice.
Rawiri's family, who are his strong supporters, received the Flight Centre Foundation Supporters of the Games award for their unfaltering support of Rawiri throughout the Games, spokeswoman Natasha Dayal said.
The award was presented by Flight Centre Foundation's David Coombes to Rawiri's family, including grandmother Mabel Tasker, grandfather Roy Freegard and sister Moana Tristram.
Around 150 athletes competed in the Halberg Games in 12 regional teams across 17 different sports, including swimming, wheelchair basketball, blind cricket, blind and wheelchair rugby and athletics. The games kicked off with an opening ceremony, including the lighting of the official flame, a parade of regional teams and special guest speakers.
Halberg Foundation patron and Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Disability Rights Commissioner and Halberg Games ambassador Paula Tesoriero and Paralympian Holly Robinson were among the guests.
The unique event is designed to give athletes the opportunity to try new sports, meet other people from around the country, compete at a national level and provides a pathway for participants to pursue further sporting goals.
150 athletes competed in the Halberg Games in 12 regional teams across 17 different sports, including swimming, wheelchair basketball, blind cricket, blind and wheelchair rugby and athletics.