Serious injury & disability

Meet the Paralympians in Christchurch – 18 February 2017

ACC Paralympics New Zealand Open Day @ Cowles Stadium, Christchurch, 18 February 2017

Come along to this free event at Cowles Stadium in Christchurch on 18 February 2017. Meet some of the Rio 2016 Paralympians and check out some of sports and leisure activities available to people with disabilities.

The doors open at 10am. Mark the date in your calendar now!

Date: 18 February 2017

Place: Cowles Stadium, 170 Pages Road, Christchurch

Check Google maps for location and driving instructions: 

Google map of 170 Pages Road, Christchurch

Meet a Paralympian

At the open day you’ll be able to meet some of the Para-Athletes who were part of the New Zealand team at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There’ll be lots of opportunities to check out their medals and get your photo taken with them.

Para-Athletes confirmed so far for the open day in Christchurch are:

  • William Stedman – Para-Athletics (track & field)
  • Caitlin Dore – Para-Athletics (javelin)
  • Andrew May – Para-Sailing
  • Emma Foy – Para-Cycling
  • Laura Thompson – Para-Cycling

Check out some of the sports played at the Paralympics

You can check out some of the sports played at the Paralympic Games and perhaps try one out one out for yourself. There’ll be plenty of para-sports (played at the Paralympics) and disability sports on display.

A mother and her son checking blackboard with para-sport classifications

Checking out the different classifications involved in para-sport.

Below are some of the sports and leisure activities exhibited at previous open days.

Wheelchair rugby

Wheelchair rugby is a para-sport.  It’s mixed team sport for male and female athletes, combining elements of rugby, basketball, and ice hockey.

Three male and one female wheelchair users, playing a demonstration game.

Wheelchairs clash at a demonstration game of wheelchair rugby put on at the Auckland open day.


Boccia is a para-sport that’s a cross between bowls and pétanque.

Two boys in wheelchairs try out boccia.

Young potential Para-Athletes try their boccia skills at the open day in Cambridge.

Goalball for blind & visually impaired athletes

Goalball is a para-sport specifically developed for blind and visually impaired people. Black-out goggles ensures a level playing field for blind and partially sighted players. 

Young man tries to kick a goalball at the open day in Cambridge.

Young man tries to kick a goalball at the open day in Cambridge.

Wheelchair basketball

Wheelchair basketball first emerged in the US in 1946. It’s one of the original sports played at the Paralympic Games.

Four young men in wheelchairs grouped in front of a basketball hoop.

Wheelchair users could try out basketball at the Open Day in Cambridge.


This is shooting for Para-Athletes who have a physical impairment leading to reduced function in the lower and/or upper limbs. New Zealand had three Para-Shooters at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

A man looking down the sight of a Para-Shooting rifle.

A member of the public tries out one of the Para-Shooting the rifle used by one of the Para-Athletes at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.


Para-Sailors compete in one-person, two-person or three-person boats. All para-sailing competitions are mixed (open to males and females). New Zealand had three sailing Para-Athletes at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Two wheelchair users talk in front of a boat used in Para-Sailing events.

The type of boat used in Para-Sailing events was on display at the Open Day in Auckland.


Para-Athletes with physical impairments compete on handcycles, tricycles or bicycles. Those with a visual impairment compete on tandems with a sighted ‘pilot’. Seven cycling Para-Athletes represented New Zealand at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

A young girl sitting, smiling broadly, on a stationary, training handcycle.

Handcycles used for training were available to try at the Open Day in Auckland (October 2016).

A young boy riding a tricycle used in competitive Para-Cycling.

Members of the public could try out competition-standard tricycles at the open day in Cambridge (November 2016).

Find out what para-sports are available in your area

Organisations that support sports and leisure activities for people with disabilities - including Paralympics New Zealand, ParaFed Canterbury and ParaFed Otago - will be at the open day with facts and advice about what’s available in your area. 

How to get into Para-Sport

This video explains how to get involved in Para-Sport:

Paralympics New Zealand video give you information on how to get involved in Para-Sport.

 You don't have to watch the videp, check out the text version:
Text version of the Getting involved in Para-Sport video

Why is ACC doing this?

ACC and Paralympics New Zealand are hosting the Open Day for South Islanders at Cowles Stadium in Christchurch. Last year (2016), Open days ran in Auckland and in Cambridge. 

The open days are part of the partnership ACC has with Paralympics New Zealand. It aims to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in society, and to encourage all New Zealanders to live healthy, active lives.

ACC and Paralympics New Zealand have more information about the open day and Para-Sport online: