July Newsletter

To all our members, sponsors, partners, ambassadors, guides and volunteers. Welcome to the July edition of the Achilles NZ newsletter.

Guide of the Month - Michael Atkin

Michael Atkin

Michael Atkin

What Achilles Chapter are you a part of? I am part of the Rotorua Chapter         

 What Distance do you Run when you aren’t Guiding? Don’t often ‘Run’ outside of guiding. Although I play Hockey and Lacrosse.

 What Event did you last Guide/Volunteer at? The last event I guided at was the Wellington Round the Bays 2019 where I supported my dad to complete his first half marathon on his trike.

 Why did you become a Volunteer/Guide for Achilles NZ? It was following my dad’s stroke in 2016, as he began to regain some of his mobility I was lucky enough to have known of the Wheels in Motion trikes program at the Avantidrome in Cambridge through my work with Enrich+. So got dad to make a few trips across and he was hooked, as well as being able to move more independently then Aaron introduced us to Achilles. Both my mum (as a guide) and dad (as an Athlete) joined and I followed suite within days. Haven’t regretted it for a second!

 What are you Hobbies/Interests? Family, anything sport but currently play Hockey and Lacrosse in the Waikato, Walks and helping others, seeing them achieve or smile.

 What is your Favorite food? Mum’s cooking if she’s reading this… But cant go past a good burger or pizza, the options are endless with those two.

 Who is your Favorite Musician? It would have to be Eminem I think if I was to pick a favorite.

 Who is your Favorite Sportsperson? I have a few but to keep it short to two, Steven Adams, proves sport can allow anyone to achieve and he’s still himself even in the big time. Secondly, Paul Rabil, new discovery but what he has done for Lacrosse creating a player driven professional league is something which I think is really awesome.

 A book that everyone should read is…….. Wrong person to ask, but willing to take suggestions of books which may spark an interest in reading for me.

 What do you love most about being involved with Achilles NZ? Everything! From all the amazing people, the atmosphere and acceptance of everyone anywhere at all times. What Achilles NZ aims to do and achieves. But mostly the fact of making individuals days, weeks, months, years and even lives! Seeing everyone achieve in their own right and the support and celebration of each achievement, and for many people I’m sure (speaking from my personal experience) seeing people achieve something which at one point or another wouldn’t have been imaginable, I love that Achilles has given my family and many others I’m sure the chance to take part in sport together again. Lastly, I love the fact that I can tell people with pride I am an Achilles guide and be apart of the wonderful Achilles family,

 If you could invite any four people to Dinner who would they be and why?

(Could be celebrities, Musicians, Athletes etc..) Gordon Ramsay – hopefully he would cook, and teach me a thing or two with all his passion and knowledge of food. Scott Dixon – He’s an amazing kiwi athlete whos achieved amazing feats in his career. Eminem – I feel like he would be an extremely interesting person to hear from with all he has faced in his life. Lastly, Tiger Woods growing up seeing him as the unbeatable golfer and again would be really interesting talking to him and hearing how he overcame all the struggles (even if it was his wrong doing) to continue in his career.

 Do you have a favorite Quote? What is it? I don’t have an all time favorite quote but currently it would have to be… ‘If you have to eat a frog, best not stare at it for too long’ - By Mark Twain.

Athlete of the month - Stevie Jensen

Stevie Jensen

Stevie Jensen

What Achilles Chapter are you a part of? Achilles Tauranga

What is your Injury/Disability? Vision impairment/hard of hearing

How long have you been injured/disabled for and how did it happen? Loss of hearing since birth/loss of vision later as known as retinitis pigmentosa (RP)

What running achievement are you most proud of? Mount Maunganui Marathon 21km

What is your Favorite Event? Mount Maunganui

What are you Hobbies/Interests? Weight-lifting, Acrade gaming, computers, walking

What is your Favorite food? Roast lamb

Who is your Favorite Musician? AC/DC

Who is your Favorite Sportsperson? Richie McCaw

A book that everyone should read is…….. The Clan of the Cave Bear

What do you love most about running with Achilles NZ? Friendships and the Supportive community

If you could invite any four people to Dinner who would they be and why? (Could be celebrities, Musicians, Athletes etc..) Richie McCaw, Jacinda Ardern, Racheal Hunter, Alison Mau. Because they are Interesting and inspiring people.

Do you have a favorite Quote? What is it? keep moving forward and enjoy the experience

News From the Board - Allan Smith

Achilles Membership Proposed Fee Structure


Background - Achilles NZ will be introducing a paid membership structure, as approved at the 2019 AGM.

 When: Paid annual subscriptions and new member joining fees are to commence on September 1st 2019. Members joining before March 31st each year will be liable for the full year subs. Those who join after March 31st will be liable for 50%.

 Who: Annual subscriptions will be payable by Athletes and Board members. Guides and Ambassadors will be exempt. Joining fees will be paid by all new athletes joining Achilles from 1st September 2019. Again, Guides and Ambassadors are exempt.

 How much: For the 2019/20 Year the following rates apply: Annual subscription        $50 Joining Fee                         $40 (for new members only)

Chapter News

Tauranga news

The highlight was Stevie Jensen being a successful recipient of a Mazda Foundation Grant. This is for 2 pairs of marathons running shoes, run clothing, and a GPS pace training watch for coaching him. 

 The Gym Tauranga is supporting Achilles guides by offering them a fantastic discount with no terms and conditions. 

 Tauranga Sports at the Domain have been amazing and are happy for Achilles Tauranga to have full use of their club room, and kitchen after our mid- week training sessions. Chapter Leader Nikki has been given a key to their facilities. 

 Progress recruiting more Guides and Athletes was slowed over the school holiday period. Still trying to gather information about Guides and Athletes from the previous Chapter Leader.  Now that we have an awesome venue to use, things are falling into place wonderfully here in Tauranga.  

 Our next event is the Mount Maunganui Half Marathon and associated events.

 We already have 6 entries including the Achilles super star Peter Loft supporting us and competing. 


 Happy Training everyone,

Nikki Wilson - Tauranga Chapter Leader.

Dave Piper and Guide Olivier out on the course.

Dave Piper and Guide Olivier out on the course.

Wellington News

This Months Chapter highlight was the Wellington Urban Ultramarathon on the 13 July. Legendary Wellington athletes Maree Carson and David Piper each completed the grueling 42km course with the help of an awesome bunch of guides from the Wellington diaspora.

Christchurch News

Pic 1. Group listening up to session instructions from Jamie Hawker. Pic 2. Blair and Noels super hero socks Pic 3. Group photo at end of session.

The Christchurch Achilles Chapter are making the most of a new sports facility in Christchurch, the Nga Puna Wai Athletics track. A crew of athletes and guides attended a session facilitated by Jamie Hawker (Port Hills Running Club coach and Achilles Guide), thanks to Jamie's coaching expertise the group were put through their paces, runners and walkers alike.  Two of the team have taken to wearing super hero socks to help with their speed work, tassels in all.... this may catch on....watch this space.

Auckland News

Awesome stuff seeing Achilles Auckland Members out making the most of the 5km parkrun on a Saturday Morning. Mike Lloyd and Brennan went to check out the Hobsonville parkrun and Tash Vruink made new friends at the Hamilton Parkrun.

They also had a Great turnout for one of their morning Trainings at Auckland Domain. There was a good mix of new and experienced members and guides with Hill Sprints on the menu.

Pics Below ( 1. Mike Lloyd and Brennan at Hobsonville Parkrun. 2. Group photo at auckland Domain for saturday Training.)

Pure Sports Nutrition


Race day nutrition doesn't magically fall into place, it takes months of trial (and error) to work towards your race day requirements and train your body fuel. Our co-founder and sports nutritionist Marewa runs us through where to start in planning your race-day nutrition.

Upcoming Events

Dunedin Marathon

Sunday 1st September 2019

Marathon, Half Marathon Run and Walk, 10 km Run and Walk, 5km Run

Auckland Marathon

Sunday 20th October
With the inclusion of a New Wheelchair category at this years Auckland Marathon we have paired up with Marathon Tours to sort a Accommodation offer for anyone wanting to take part in this years Event. Get in quick because rooms are Limited. Don't forget to Enter the Auckland Marathon Event by the end of June to make the most of early Bird Discounts! We hope to see Lots of Yellow T-Shirts on the Start line!

Achilles Has Paired up with Marathon Tours to offer a Package deal for Achilles Members. The Accommodation is a the M social Hotel in Aucklands CBD. There are Wheelchair Accessible King/Queen Rooms for $308 per night (breakfast included).

For more Information or to Book your rooms please email rebecca@marathontours.co.nz.

Alana Lythe