Published 19 September 2022
Sport is a big part of life here in New Zealand and for good reason — it helps keep you fit and healthy and is a great way to make friends.
If you’re disabled and want to play sport, your local Parafed branch can help. Parafed provide sport and recreation opportunities for disabled people across Aotearoa.
Parafed Otago is one of the 10 regional branches.
“Parafed Otago was started because there was a gap in the Otago region for those who wanted to participate in para sport.” says Kelly Nooy, Sport Development Officer at Parafed Otago.
Parafed Otago’s goal is to make sure everyone who wants to play sport can.
“By participating in sport and coming together with friends, a strong sense of friendly competition fuels peoples’ drive in accomplishing any other goals they might have,” says Kelly. “Not only do people gain confidence in themselves but they come out of their shell and are more willing to give things a go.”
Parafed Otago offers swimming, boccia, wheelchair rugby, an athletics programme in summer and adaptive snow sports in the winter. For those looking to kick start their para sport journey, they also run ‘Have a Go’ sessions for different sports where people can find out if a sport is right for them.
“Recently our Otago Wheelchair Rugby team played at the national tournament” says Kelly. “We also had 3 of our members achieve medal placings at the Boccia Nationals in Christchurch last October.”
If you’re keen on getting involved in para sport or want to volunteer at Parafed Otago, you can find them online at parafedotago.com (external link) , on Facebook and Instagram, or can contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org