December Newsletter

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Hi members and friends of Achilles NZ, Welcome to the Christmas edition of the monthly update regarding the activities of Achilles International New Zealand.

A Christmas message from our Board Chair Allan Smith

Allan Smith

Allan Smith

As we get older the years seem to get faster and here we are looking at another Xmas and New Year on the near horizon. In supporting up to 18 events a year has certainly put our resources to a test and without the athletes, guides and support teams we would not have the ability to support those events near you.

The recent trip to New York was an outstanding highlight that allowed us to meet athletes from around the world but more importantly getting to know our team members more personally and understanding the challenges that their daily lives have. In being involved since 1995 within the world of those with disabilities it always inspires us to participate and observe the efforts made by those who face challenges of many kind and achieve so much.

This was demonstrated recently at the Attitude awards where Jayden was recognized so well for his spirit and achievements as a young man with a disability. Another highlight was witnessing Mike Lloyd run his 10th New York marathon and how he has been supported on this journey. In caring for others again I recently witnessed the powerful friendship Tamati and Steven have and even though blindness has challenges they still have the courage to go out and explore large cities and have fun. There are many other examples that I could quote but the importance is that Achilles as an extended family have many that reside worldwide that care and are amazed at the efforts that take place.

The Board recently met to review the last 6 months since the May AGM. No, we probably did not get it all right and that is understandable in an organisation that is growing with high expectations. However, we are always open to feedback and look to ensure that the communication between the Board and Members grows stronger. As a small organisation we need to prioritize our efforts to ensure that our growth expands nationwide and is available to all potential athletes within New Zealand.

The priorities that we have set ourselves in 2019 include:

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

  • Developing our own personal & professional networks for potential sponsorship opportunities to build a family of support sponsors.

  • To ensure that our links to our chapters remain strong and engaged.

  • The work Alana has been doing is great but needs to be supported with a new members pack. Member stories is always very important.

  • That 2 of our board members will talk to and survey our members to gain their views.

  • Look at our predicted budget and look for operational efficiencies but understanding that there is a cost to growing.

  • To ensure that our event schedule is well publicized and understood.

  • That our commercial MoU’s with our partners ensure that Achilles maximizes the opportunities available and renegotiate where required.

    This is ambitious and the Board is determined that we work with our members to ensure that we lead the world of Achilles International with success for all. Participation is so important for all to feel part of what we belong to and how powerful it can be.

    Finishing off have a great family Xmas and New Year, have fun, cherish these moments and we all look forward to 2019.


Further Christmas Greetings

Dick Traum- The founder of Achilles International

It’s been a great Achilles year and the show stopper was the twenty five and counting team from NZ joining us at the NYC Marathon. Whoever anticipated chapters in nine cities, a super infrastructure which others are learning from, and comrades with my sense of humor.  Thank you for such leadership. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I know you celebrate it a half a day early.

Dick Traum

Please see access to a video message from Dick

Ian Winson - Board Member

Ian Winson

Ian Winson

Dear Achilles Members.

Would like to send season’s greetings to each and every one of the ‘family’ and look forward to an awesome 2019 where the yellow shirts are prominent around the country.

Regards and best wishes


Mike Lloyd - Board Member

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Wow! What an amazing year it has been. I completed my tenth New York City Marathon with Achilles which was such a huge goal to finally achieve. I have been blessed to have been a part of each Achilles NZ team over the years. So many laughs, so many tears and so many lost toenails.

This year I have enjoyed attending Sunday training’s, participating in some of the events around the country and I thought that the Achilles awards dinner was awesome. It has been exciting to witness the growth in Achilles nationally this year and I think 2019 will be even better. I hope to catch up with many of you in Feb at Wellington RTB. Happy holidays!

Go Achilles!!


Suzanne DeGues - Board Member

Wishing all the Achilles family a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Years! I hope you have a relaxing break with family & friends, best wishes!


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Wellington Round the Bays 2019

This is our first event where we all come together as an Achilles family and along with Cigna NZ by participating in Wellington on Sunday February 17. Please make contact with your nearest Chapter leader for further details of how you can participate as we have received great support from Cigna NZ to make sure we get all of you there.

From the National Manager

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I want to thank our special partners and friends Cigna NZ, Cigna Foundation, Achilles International, Foundation North, Lottery Grants Board, Pure Sports Nutrition, Halberg, Constellation Community Trust, Four Winds Foundation, NZ Racing Board and Parafed Auckland, Northland, Wellington, Otago, Bay of Plenty, Waikato Christchurch for their continued support of Achilles New Zealand.

Alana Lythe