Achilles NZ Ambassadors selflessly help us to raise awareness of the Achilles mission throughout NZ. Their support and commitment significantly assists numerous kiwi's with disabilities to experience the joy of personal achievement in mainstream athletic events.
MIKE LLOYD, AUCKLAND
I am a blind guy from Auckland, New Zealand who enjoys running, cycling and generally keeping fit and active. I have done five New York City Marathons with the last one being in 2013. I have also participated in a variety of local running and cycling events. Since 2006 I have managed the website www.blindrunner.com as a resource for blind runners and their guides.
I work as an Adaptive Technology Consultant for the Blind Foundation in New Zealand - and I am currently on the board of Achilles International New Zealand as well as Blind Sport New Zealand.
So what makes me so special? Well that’s just it… Nothing at all. I am just a guy who is into his sport and fitness, is living an independent life who one day decided to merge his passion for sport, technology and sarcastic wit/political incorrectness to hopefully create a podcast that will promote blind sport and be of interest to others. I will not claim to be the all-knowing sports oracle or fitness guru, but I am happy to share what I know and learn as I go with the rest of you via the content that I discover as these recordings are created and as I meet new people who are doing new things. Learn more about running blind at theblindsportpodcast.com.
JADEN MOVOLD, AUCKLAND (ACHILLES KIDS AMBASSADOR)
Jaden is a young man who was born with Spina Bifida and has had more medical procedures than most adults experience in a lifetime, yet lives life with an abundance of positivity, generosity and determination. Aside from being a 10 year old boy, Jaden is an athlete (swimming, triathlon, wheelchair basketball, hand-cycling), an ambassador (Yes Disability Resource Centre), a performer (Kapahaka, Hip-hop), and a fundraiser (for many charities who support kids with disabilities). He has a global following and has made friends with Grammy award winning artists, world champion athletes, celebrities, and many others with or without disabilities.
Prime Minister Key has said that Jaden is “a great inspiration to other kids” and The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus says he “is an important role model and inspiring advocate”.
Jaden has been involved with Achilles International NZ since 2010 and was made Achilles Kids Ambassador in 2015, a role he is very excited to have and hopes to encourage other kids whatever their ability or disability to get involved in running events. Visit Jaden's Facebook Page here...
MIKE BROWN, CHRISTCHURCH
My appetite for risk and rich experience continues despite the accident that left me paralysed from the waist down.
Not only have I relearnt the essential daily functions that most take for granted, but I continue to surf, ski, mountain bike, sail, kayak, paraglide and whitewater raft.
We've all had events in our lives which have changed our fortune, and the way in which we view ourselves and the world. I like to call these our Big Breaks. They come in many forms of experience, some pleasurable, and some not. The trick to staying positive is to recognise that every experience has something to teach us.
I've had to fight for my marriage, learn new ways of playing with my son, and explore new opportunities to earn a living for my family. I'm still smiling and have big plans ahead - including the New York Marathon in November 2014. What’s even better than the sense of personal achievement I will gain from training hard and competing in this prestigious event, is supporting and raising awareness for a fantastic organisation whose aim is to encourage and support disabled people of all walks of life participate in mainstream sporting events. Achilles helps foster that feeling of achievement, pride, and acceptance that we all strive for.
Check out Mike's Big Break to learn more about me, my design projects and my public speaking engagements.
IAN WALKER, CHRISTCHURCH
I am 52 years old and I'm a part time Coaching Coordinator for the Northern Football Federation Referee Committee assisting the Referee Development Officer to deliver courses, coaching and assessing to and for referees. Prior to my injury I was a part time marathon runner (9 in total) and a nationally ranked football (soccer) referee. I have competed in the National Parafed Games in 2009 in the 11km time trial and 30km road race where I placed third in both.
I have trained at the Millennium Gym for nearly 4 years now under the supervision of Missy Rawiri, my personal trainer. Missy is to be credited with all and any success I have had. She is fair, firm, fun and fantastic! She has developed some extremely testing exercises for me (namely boxing and rowing), which have enabled me to attempt all that I have. The gym is totally wheelchair friendly and I would recommend it to anyone else in a chair. I have two personal statements I live by and they are:
- Being disabled should not define who you are, it is what you do that should
- Never allow what you cannot do stop you from doing what you can do.