dsport will host Deepa Malik, India’s first female Paralympic medallist and Sir Edmund Hillary Fellow, in Wellington on Wednesday 8 May.
Deepa won silver medal in the women's shotput F53 event at the Rio Paralympics in 2016 as well as 58 national and 23 international medals. A recipient of the Padma Shri and Arjuna Award, she has entered the Limca Book of World Records four times.
Deepa is in New Zealand this week taking the opportunity to meet Paralympians and para athletes and while in Wellington will spend time with members of the dsport Youth Group at Wellington College.
“For dsport, hosting Deepa Malik, so recently after we have rebranded is a wonderful opportunity to showcase what we are doing especially in our youth space. Our vision is for Wellington to be a diverse and inclusive region. We are achieving this through inspiring, enabling and achieving.” said dsport Manager, Catriona McBean.
“dsport reflects our organisation’s passion for giving everybody, of every ability, the opportunity to reach their full potential. The name aligns with our mission; to support and grow the potential of children, families and the community via events, sport and connection.”
“We have a number of young para athletes who are commencing their sporting journey so meeting Paralympians such as Deepa will help reinforce there are pathways and successes to be had despite physical impairments. Providing positive role models for our young people is very important. We are fortunate to have an international role model in para athletics and women in leadership spending time with our young members on Wednesday” said McBean.
Alongside dsport is Wellington College who provided the venue for Deepa’s visit. Four dsport Youth Group members attend Wellington College, including Corran Hanning who in the last six months has set and broken a number of New Zealand Secondary School Para Athletics records and helped Wellington College team retain the McEvedy Shield this year, for the fifth consecutive year.
At the New Zealand Secondary School Championships in Dunedin in December 2018 Corran set Best Performances (the first time a record has been set) in the Shotput, Discus and Javelin in the F12 classification. F12 classification refers to field athletes with a vision impairment.
At the North Island Secondary School Championships in Tauranga in April 2019 Corran broke 3 F12 records in Shotput, Discus and Javelin and set a Best Performance in the Hammer Throw.
Wellington College Principal, Gregor Fountain said “We are delighted to partner with dsport to host Deepa Malik. This is a great opportunity for our students to meet a high performing female athlete and deepen their understanding of community, leadership, diversity and excellence. Our students deeply benefit from dsport’s sport programmes. The aim of Deepa's visit is to inspire all of our students to be positive influencers in the communities that they are part of.”
Deepa will be welcomed with a Mihi Whakatau by students from the College’s te reo classes followed by morning tea. Deepa will then talk to a number of classes about her journey and then will join Corran and the other dsport Youth Group members for some shotput and discus training.