Canterbury Para swimmers Selwyn’s Ella Benn, Celyn and Ieuan Edwards with Lili-Fox Mason, and Gabriella Smith from Wharenui

ParaFed Canterbury excelling

by Ann van Engelen

It has been a rewarding start to the year for ParaFed Canterbury with sports manager Hadleigh Pierson being named in the New Year Honours List as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Paralympic Sport.

Mr Pierson represented New Zealand at two Paralympic Games in swimming and developed a world-class programme of Talent Identification while working at Paralympics New Zealand.

He is responsible for recruiting hundreds of potential athletes to Para sport, and many have represented New Zealand at a Paralympic Games.

“I was honoured to receive the Order of Merit.

“I feel very lucky to work with some amazing athletes and their families and have been supported by some great workmates and coaches during the past 20 years,” says Hadleigh.

“Local athletes have added to the positive beginning participating in a range of sporting events.

Last week Canterbury Para swimmers Selwyn’s Ella Benn, Celyn and Ieuan Edwards with Geraldine’s Ben Gould and Lili-Fox Mason and Gabriella Smith from Wharenui competed at the Swimming Canterbury West Coast Championships in Dunedin. The six swimmers won lots of medals and produced personal best times across the four days of racing. Celyn was awarded the cup for the top Para Swimmer of the meet.

“Lincoln’s Montana Brown headed to Australia to compete in the Summer Down Under Wheelchair Racing Series with her coach Alexander McIntyre.

After a successful competition in Canberra, they competed in Sydney for three days, followed by the Oz Day 10km road race. Montana produced a four-second personal best in the 100m — 24.32, and a six-second personal best in the 400m — 1.25.73. Unfortunately, she had a small crash in the 10km road race damaging her front wheel and couldn’t finish the race.

Alexander raced in the 100m — 18.28, 200m — 31.54 and 400m — 58.05 on the track, and produced a fantastic time of 31 minutes in the 10km road race, just outside his personal best time.

“The Permobil New Zealand Wheelchair Tennis Open took place at Wilding Park featuring three Australian and two Japanese players, along with a number of New Zealand players. In the men’s singles, Haruya Mizokoshi from Japan defeated Australian Martyn Dunn 6–2, 6–2. The Men’s Doubles final saw Japan’s Haruya Mizukoshi and Seijiro Hosoi defeat New Zealand’s Glenn Barnes and Travis Moffat 6–4, 6–1. While the Men’s Quad Final saw James Mcleod from New Zealand defeat Richard Page, also from New Zealand 6–1, 6–0.”