Locals excel at Halbergs

The 2018 Halberg Junior Disability Games were held last weekend in Auckland, with a 15-strong Waikato team of athletes taking part. The team was proudly managed by Parafed
Waikato, which has just celebrated their 50th birthday.

Local Cambridge athletes Ryan Branje, Thomas Szabo and Andrew Fairweather were part of the 15-strong Waikato team that attended the 2018 Halberg Junior Disability Games in Auckland October 5 – 7. Ryan competed in a number of events and excelled in the wheelchair basketball, wining all four of his games and scoring four fantastic baskets.

Thomas gave it 100 per cent all weekend and excelled at swimming. He said to his mum after the games, “Mum I feel really lucky to have something different”, showing the positive impact the Halberg Games had on him.

Andrew was interviewed by Chris from What Now and this was aired on Sunday morning. He was also interviewed by Matthew Cooper after he had a fall in the 50m sprint and courageously got straight back up and kept running to finish the race.

What is the Halberg Games?

The Halberg Games saw 150 disabled athletes from 12 regions competing in a wide range of sports. The Halberg Games is an annual three-day sporting competition open to 8-21-year olds with a physical or visual impairment. Hosted by the Halberg Foundation, the games is a unique event in New Zealand and give athletes an opportunity to enjoy the thrill of competition, healthy comradery and make new friends. Participants experience an authentic games village environment with a range of sports on offer and events including opening and closing ceremonies. The opening ceremony was well supported with both Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy in attendance. For some athletes, the games are stepping stone towards future sporting goals and even representing New Zealand in their chosen sport.

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