Golfers Join Hundreds at Opening of Halberg Games

Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, ISPS Handa Patron Tony Abbott, ISPS Handa Ambassadors Dan Carter, Richie McCaw, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson, Halberg Chief Executive Shelley McMeeken, Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero, Halberg Youth Councillors Thomas Chin and Guy Harrison and Eric Murray at the Halberg Games
Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, ISPS Handa Patron Tony Abbott AC, ISPS Handa Ambassadors Dan Carter, Richie McCaw, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson, Halberg Chief Executive Shelley McMeeken, Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero, Halberg Youth Councillors Thomas Chin and Guy Harrison and Eric Murray at the Halberg Games (Supplied)

Golf will be one of the 20 sports played at the rescheduled 2021 Halberg Games across this ANZAC Day weekend.

ISPS Handa Ambassadors Richie McCaw ONZ and Dan Carter ONZM joined former Australian Prime Minister and ISPS Handa Patron Tony Abbott AC to launch the three-day sports competition for young athletes with a physical disability or visual impairment in a ceremony in Auckland today.

The 2021 Halberg Games has a record number of athletes with 195 representing 13 teams across sports including golf, swimming, wheelchair basketball, netball, wheelchair rugby and athletics.

The athletes will compete for the following regions: Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Manawatū, Dsport, Tasman, Canterbury, South Canterbury, and Otago/Southland with the support of their local Parafeds and Halberg Advisers.

The Games is a unique event providing an opportunity for athletes to compete, connect, build confidence, and pursue further opportunities in sports. Two scholarships were also announced at the Opening Ceremony to provide sporting pathways for the athletes.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Sport Hon Grant Robertson was also in attendance at the official opening were members of the Halberg Youth Council (a group of young leaders from around the country representing the voices of physically disabled young people) played key roles in the ceremony, including Thomas Chin who blessed the event with a karakia and Guy Harrison, who plays off a single figure handicap and was one of the competitors in the inaugural golf event, read the athlete oath and lit the official Games’ flame.

Sir Murray Halberg Cup for Most Outstanding Athlete winner Guy Harrison (Hawke’s Bay) with Halberg Foundation CE Shelley McMeeken at the 2019 Halberg Games Closing Ceremony
Sir Murray Halberg Cup for Most Outstanding Athlete winner Guy Harrison (Hawke’s Bay) with Halberg Foundation CE Shelley McMeeken at the 2019 Halberg Games Closing Ceremony (Supplied)

Halberg Foundation Chief Executive Shelley McMeeken said alongside the sports there will be a Saturday festival including fun family activities.

“The opening of the rescheduled Halberg Games signals significant opportunities to experience the magic of sport through competing, forming friendships and having fun,” McMeeken said.

On Sunday 25 April an ‘ANZAC lap’ will honour fallen soldiers with a silent walk at dawn around the athletics track followed by a Closing Ceremony with the presentation of medals and trophies including the Flight Centre Foundation Supporter of the Games, Invacare Moment of the Games, Lindsay Foundation Fair Play Cup along with the prestigious Sir Murray Halberg Cup, for the Most Outstanding Athlete of the Halberg Games.

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