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Sport BOP ActiveVoice

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sport BOP ActiveVoice

We live in a country of adventures. Where you want to explore is up to you. How you get there is part of the adventure. Aotearoa is a coastal bushland dotted by rivers and lakes, entwined by tracks and trails, all waiting to be run, walked, rolled or glided upon.

The Halberg Disability Sport Foundation is working both nationally and regionally with the Department of Conservation, local authorities and the Regional Sports Trusts (Sport Bay of Plenty) to encourage the access of these wondrous walkways, cycle ways and waterways to physically disabled people.

At Mount Maunganui, we have access along the coast of Pilot Bay and Mount Beach via a boardwalk, making the traverse accessible to all. Young or old, pushchairs or wheelchairs, fast fitness minded or slower ‘take your mind off” strollers. 

 This is known as Global Design – a feature that works for everyone – without being highlighted as specific to one group. Even the fact of the contrast of light and dark between the timber and grass – or the sound of walking on timber, makes the boardwalk better for visually impaired people, without taking anything away from sighted people.

There are so many pieces of different equipment available now to assist physically disabled people take part in sport and recreational facilities. Last summer, Halberg Disability Sport Foundation and The Flight Centre Foundation provided a beach chair at Mount Maunganui Beach, which allowed access to the beach, for a roll along the sand or a swim in the tide. 

This chair will now also be used on Pilot Bay by East Coast Paddlers to assist people to the water for seated or assisted stand up paddle boarding and waka ama. The adapted seat for waka ama is also used in rowing, kayaking and sailing. Rotorua already runs disabled sailing from Rotorua Yacht club and BOPSAT of Tauranga Yacht Club is meeting this week to discuss Sailability in Tauranga.

There are various types of cycles, trikes and attachments e.g. freedom wheel, to access rides and cycleways around the Bay.  Many students in schools have participated in the school bike ride or duathlon and then gone on to a triathlon. In the weekend they then join the family in a ride along Papamoa or Ohope Beach Roads or explore the Rotorua Redwoods.

Let us know about a walkway cycleway or waterway near you or for more information contact me at cherryl@halberg.co.nz or 027 290 2030. 

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