Last weekend, as I sat in the natural amphitheatre of the Te Puna Quarry listening to a superb kapa haka performance from our local disabled community, I reflected on a few weeks earlier when I had the pleasure of helping at the launch of our very first Disability Sports Festival at the ASB Arena.
It was a very successful initiative with hundreds of locals turning up to view disabled sports in action and, on the Sunday, meeting with Paralympians Adam and Corey. The weekend showcased much more than some very impressive gold and bronze medals. It was a chance to see and meet local athletes who apply themselves with extraordinary grit and determination to their sports from wheelchair rugby, to basketball, to Boccia, and blind bowls. They are remarkable people, all with stories of immense courage and determination to maximise the opportunities that life affords them. At first glance, their opportunities might appear more limited due to their disability, but seeing them in action, I felt they were grasping more of life than many able-bodied people, including myself. They are true inspirations; indomitable spirits that really make an impact. We all should look for opportunities to lean in to these local champions and learn from their humble examples.