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Parenting the next Sophie Pascoe or Liam Malone

Blasting onto the world stage at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, Liam Malone took New Zealand sport by storm.  A relative unknown, he excelled at the highest level and became a household name. Sophie Pascoe, already a well-known disabled athlete within Paralympian swimming, is now recognised as one of New Zealand’s best known and successful athletes.

So what has set them apart?  The most obvious answer for many is that they are Paralympians, disabled, and therefore different.

However, it’s not that simple.

Read more



Erin Knox wins Disabled Swimmer of the Year

Congratulations to Erin Knox who was named Disabled Swimmer of the Year for Wellington Swimming at last week's awards ceremony.


Kate Horan Retires from Paralympic Sport

Paralympian Kate Horan

Paralympian Kate Horan hangs up her cleats for new challenges and family time

Three-time Paralympian Kate Horan has today announced she will be retiring from the sport of Para cycling and to focus on her family and seek new challenges.


Horan made her Paralympic Games debut at the Athens 2004 Paralympics after only taking up sprinting one year prior to Athens 2004. She set a world record in the Women’s 400m T44 but she missed out on a medal due to the competition format at the time.


Four years later in front of 92,000 spectators at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing 2008, Horan mounted the Paralympic podium taking silver in the Women’s 200m T44, an achievement she describes as “mind blowing”.


A combination of factors, including giving birth to her third child in late 2011 and a serious tendon tear in her hamstring, ruled her out of selection for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Not long after this Horan was struggling to cope with the demands of Para athletics training after years of wear and tear on her body and Paralympics New Zealand High Performance Team advised her to switch to the lower impact sport of Para cycling. Horan went on to win 4 World Championships medals in the velodrome and place 4th, 6th and 8th at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.


Kate Horan said: “I always thought I would be dragged away kicking and screaming from Para sport as it means so much to me. However racing recently in Cambridge I realised as I came off the track that I was done. I always thought it would be my body that would stop me; but it is all about the mental edge and drive that is needed to compete at the highest level. I no longer have this so now is the time to retire.”


She continued: “Para sport has kept me on the straight and narrow and helped me get through so many challenges in life. I have invested 16 years of my life in Para sport but it has given me so much. When I first started I was very uncomfortable with being different as an amputee however Para sport and the amazing people I have meet, raced with and trained with have changed my view of myself in the most positive way. I am looking forward to starting a new journey and competing in the 2021 Coast to Coast. For now I just want to enjoy the festive season and school holidays with my wonderful family.”


Throughout Horan’s 16 year’s as a high performance Para athlete she has had many experiences however when asked what the highlight has been she said: “It was definitely being awarded the MNZM for services to Paralympic sport in 2017. A real honour and celebration of what Para sport means to me.”


Malcolm Humm (High Performance Director, Paralympics New Zealand) said: “Kate has been one of New Zealand Para sport’s stalwarts having competed internationally for close to two decades in two Para sports. Her achievements across 3 Paralympic Games and numerous World Championships have been outstanding. Added to this breaking the Women’s 200m Flying Sprint C4 world record in 2015 and 2016. Throughout this time Kate has been a role model for many young Para athletes as she has constantly delivered a non-compromised approach to training and competition while raising her family. We look forward to working with Kate to continue her involvement with the Paralympic family and wish her all the best for the future.”


Horan was a key member of the New Zealand Paralympic Team that produced performances in Rio making it the country’s most successful Paralympic Games ever. The New Zealand Paralympic Team secured a stunning 21 medals across 12 individual medallists – 9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze. Overall, the Team placed 13 out of 159 on the medal table, its highest placing ever, and defended its title of number 1 in the world for medals won per capita during London 2012.



Gavin Rolton wins Attitude Employee Award

Congratulations to dsport wheelchair rugby playe

Congratulations to dsport wheelchair rugby player and Wheelblack won the 2019 Attitude Employee Award at the ceremony at SkyCity Convention Centre on Friday night.

Gavin works for Drake Medox who provide support services for people with disabilities.  As a tetraplegic himself, Gavin knows the need for professional support staff in helping him retain his independence.


dsport dispatch

dsport dispatch enewsletters.

Welcome to our dsport dispatch enewsletters.

Here we will celebrate our successes and profile our members.

Check out what our members have been up to over the last few months.





dsport team take home awards from 2019 Halberg Games

2019 Halberg Games.

Last weekend the dsport team of 13 athletes took part in the 2019 Halberg Games.  

Over the 2 days of competition, our athletes competed in swimming, athletics and boccia tournaments as well as trying out powerchair football, golf, table tennis, netball, taekwondo and gymnastics.

Lincoln took out both the Moment of the Games and the Spirit of the Games awards.

Noah was named most valuable player in powerchair football, Deanna for netball, Erin for taekwondo and Joel for cricket.

On day 1 Erin stormed home in the 75m to win, followed by Deanna in end place.  Mitchell won in a number of the strongly competed races against the other Mitchell!

Day 2 saw Corran win the discus with a throw of 34.01m, closely followed by TP 32.28m.  Harry placed 2nd in his age group for discus with a very respectable 14.57m.  First timers Falcon won the 400m in his age group and Lucas 3rd in the 50m and 100m sprints.

Liam and Felix also competed in swimming and athletics.

This year also saw the largest contingent of whanau supporters join us from around the country.  Thanks to you all for making this year's games one of the best ever.


Youth Group Parents Dinner

Youth Group Parents Catchup

Saturday night saw the Youth Group parents meet up for a casual dinner at The Thistle Inn.

It was a great opportunity for parents to get to meet other parents without the children around!

Great laughs and conservations were had by all. 


dsport wins WCC Accessible Initative Award

dsport was announced the winner of the 2019 WCC Accessible Inititative Award at the recent 2019 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards and Wellington Accessibility Awards at the Michael Fowler Centre.

This award celebrates an initiative that improves the accessibility of places, services or information in Wellington. 

We were also named a finalist in the Accessible Champion Award celebrating a local leader or champion who has made a significant contribution to improving accessibility in Wellington.


dsport named Finalist in Wellington Regional Airport Awards

Every year, Wellington International Airport, Wellington Community Trust, and the five local councils come together to recognise the work carried out by community groups in the wider Wellington region. The focus of the Awards is to celebrate volunteers for their valuable contribution to society.

Finalists from each region to compete for the overall award in their category, and the opportunity to be named Supreme Winner. Members of the public are invited to nominate any not-for-profit group or organisation working in the interests of the community.

The award winners and runners up will be announced on at a function on Wednesday 31 July .


dsport Finalists in Wellington Sportsperson of the Year Awards Announced

dsport is proud to announce it has three finalists named in the 2019 Wellington Sportsperson of the Year Awards.


Kate Horan (Paralympian) and Corran Hanning have both been named in the Disabled Sportsperson Award.

Catriona McBean has been named as a finalist for the prestigous Trish McKelvey Leadership Award.


dsport hosts Deepa Malik, Indian Paralympian

dsport will host Deepa Malik, India’s first female Paralympic medallist and Sir Edmund Hillary Fellow, in Wellington on Wednesday 8 May.

Deepa won silver medal in the women's shotput F53 event at the Rio Paralympics in 2016 as well as 58 national and 23 international medals. A recipient of the Padma Shri and Arjuna Award, she has entered the Limca Book of World Records four times.

Deepa is in New Zealand this week taking the opportunity to meet Paralympians and para athletes and while in Wellington will spend time with members of the dsport Youth Group at Wellington College.

“For dsport, hosting Deepa Malik, so recently after we have rebranded is a wonderful opportunity to showcase what we are doing especially in our youth space.  Our vision is for Wellington to be a diverse and inclusive region.  We are achieving this through inspiring, enabling and achieving.” said dsport Manager, Catriona McBean.

“dsport reflects our organisation’s passion for giving everybody, of every ability, the opportunity to reach their full potential. The name aligns with our mission; to support and grow the potential of children, families and the community via events, sport and connection.”

“We have a number of young para athletes who are commencing their sporting journey so meeting Paralympians such as Deepa will help reinforce there are pathways and successes to be had despite physical impairments.  Providing positive role models for our young people is very important.  We are fortunate to have an international role model in para athletics and women in leadership spending time with our young members on Wednesday” said McBean.

Alongside dsport is Wellington College who provided the venue for Deepa’s visit.  Four dsport Youth Group members attend Wellington College, including Corran Hanning who in the last six months has set and broken a number of New Zealand Secondary School Para Athletics records and helped Wellington College team retain the McEvedy Shield this year, for the fifth consecutive year.

At the New Zealand Secondary School Championships in Dunedin in December 2018 Corran set Best Performances (the first time a record has been set) in the Shotput, Discus and Javelin in the F12 classification.  F12 classification refers to field athletes with a vision impairment.

At the North Island Secondary School Championships in Tauranga in April 2019 Corran broke 3 F12 records in Shotput, Discus and Javelin and set a Best Performance in the Hammer Throw.

Wellington College Principal, Gregor Fountain said “We are delighted to partner with dsport to host Deepa Malik.  This is a great opportunity for our students to meet a high performing female athlete and deepen their understanding of community, leadership, diversity and excellence.  Our students deeply benefit from dsport’s sport programmes. The aim of Deepa's visit is to inspire all of our students to be positive influencers in the communities that they are part of.”

Deepa will be welcomed with a Mihi Whakatau by students from the College’s te reo classes followed by morning tea.  Deepa will then talk to a number of classes about her journey and then will join Corran and the other dsport Youth Group members for some shotput and discus training.


NZSS Athletics Records Broken

Corran Hanning and Jack Lewington break national records in athletics

Congratulations to Corran Hanning and Jack Lewington who both broke records at the NZ Secondary Schools Athletics Association North Island Championships in the weekend in Tauranga.

Corran set 3 new national records

  • F12 Shot put junior boys 9.38m 4kg
  • F12 Discus junior boys 37.33m 1kg
  • F12 Javlin junior boys 22.51 700gm
  • and also 8th in the Hammer throw intermediate 30.45m

Jack set 2 national records

  • T37 100m junior boys 15.26s
  • T37 Para long jump junior boys 3.75m
  • and also T37 200m junior boys 32.40s

The future looks bright for both these athletes.