Kiwis continue to show their support for our Paralympians by ‘going gold’
Today, many schools and businesses across New Zealand will show their continuing support for our New Zealand Paralympians by ‘going gold and giving a gold coin’ as part of the annual Spirit of Gold® Mufti Day. School children and business leaders alike will sparkle in gold to celebrate exactly ‘six months to go’ until the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and to help Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) raise the remaining $80k needed to support the team to the Games next March.
School students celebrate the Spirit of Gold Mufti Day credit Getty Images
Adam Hall (PyeongChang 2018 hopeful and Vancouver 2010 gold medallist) said, “Today is an exciting landmark for all winter Paralympians as we continue on our journey towards PyeongChang 2018. It’s so cool that so many people have dressed up in gold today to celebrate and to help us raise the funds we need. I am really looking forward to the next six months and preparing to be the best that I can be.”
He continues as he describes his gold medal winning Paralympic experience at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, “To be the best in the world on that day and to be able to share it with so many people was a dream realised. My aims in PyeongChang 2018 are to race to the very best of my ability, motivate New Zealanders to stick with their passion and hopefully win more gold to bring home!”
Fiona Allan (Chief Executive, Paralympics New Zealand) said, “With the broadcast of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games announced to run free-to-air on TVNZ and Attitude next year, more New Zealanders than ever before will be able to see our Winter Paralympians in action on the slopes and be inspired to think differently about what disabled people can achieve. This however brings into sharp focus what we still need to do to get ourselves there. We hope that schools and businesses will get behind our Spirit of Gold® Mufti Day or donate online at our website the way they did to help our Summer Paralympians get to Rio 2016. We hope to raise $80k to support our Winter Paralympians.”
Qualifying for PyeongChang 2018 is well underway, with five Para athletes vying for selection. Whilst New Zealand’s Para snowboard athlete was able to gain qualification points at this week’s Audi quattro Winter Games in Queenstown, Para alpine skiers will continue to bank points during the northern hemisphere season in the hope of selection.
Funds raised through the Spirit of Gold® Mufti Day will be used to support the logistics associated with taking the New Zealand Paralympic Winter Games Team to South Korea. Costs such as flights, accommodation, transport, freight, and excess baggage for taking equipment like skis and snowboards, are significant. PNZ receives a grant for around 1/3rds of Paralympic Games costs from High Performance Sport New Zealand and raises the rest itself by fundraising and via commercial partners.
Whilst the official Spirit of Gold® Mufti Day takes place today, schools and business can take part at any time. People can also get behind the team personally by donating at www.paralympics.org.nz/donatenow. For those that donate over $20 they will receive a complimentary limited edition Spirit of Gold® scarf.
Everyone involved in the Spirit of Gold® Mufti Day is encouraged to post photos on social media, with the best being re-displayed on PNZ social media accounts.