Hundreds set to attend Healthvision Festival of Disability Sport

Monday 22 March 2021

Athletes in the hundreds are expected to come out in force at the 2021 Healthvision Festival of Disability Sport. The festival, being held at Trustpower Baypark Arena over the weekend on March 27 and 28, will see participants competing in sports such as Wheelchair Rugby, Wheelchair Basketball, Powerchair Football, Blind Lawn Bowls, and many more. 

The festival, organised by Parafed Bay of Plenty, has the goal of growing the event year on year. This year will see the third running of the festival and during 2018-2019, organisers saw a growth of 35 per cent in participation and spectator numbers and expect to see this keep on growing for 2021. 

Event Manager for the Healthvision Festival of Disability Sport, Claudia West says Parafed Bay of Plenty saw an opportunity to do something really exciting and unique for disability sports. 

“Their aim is celebrate and showcase disability sport; to raise the profile and to encourage participation.

“The festival brings seven different sporting codes together over one weekend, that in itself is a great achievement. All the athletes, families and supporters get to experience the skill and sportsmanship of each sport.

“A highlight from our 2019 festival was the inclusion of Powerchair Football. A sport not many people had seen before. The skill of the players was incredible, and everyone was so blown away by the sport. This is what the festival is all about.”

Claudia says the magic of this event is people coming for the first time, only to watch, then the year after participating in a sport of becoming a regular Parafed member. 

For festival ambassador, Amanda Lowry, sport has really changed her life and helped her find a new normal. 

“Sport enables me to have a big life. I want to encourage as many physically disabled people to play sport as possible,” says Amanda. 

National Manager for Healthvision Alliance, Brendon Clark says Healthvision are thrilled to be supporting the Healthvision Festival of Disability Sports 2021. 

“The festival provides a wonderful opportunity for physically disabled people to try new sporting and recreational activities in a fun and inclusive environment. We are proud to see the festival grow from strength to strength and it is great to be part of a successful event where the organisers, and administrators are so incredibly enthusiastic.

“We consider this event to be an important part of supporting the community, and those who support Kiwis with disabilities,” says Brendon. 

The Healthvision Festival of Disability Sport is free to attend and will be taking place over the weekend of March 27 and 28, at Trustpower Baypark Arena. It is free to attend and spectators are encouraged to head along and support the athletes. 

“The festival is important as it brings disability sport into a positive light. It merges communities together and it shows non-disabled people the power of sport,” says Claudia. 

If you or anyone you know has a physical disability and would like to participate, get in touch with the festival team, head along and see what’s on offer. 

2021 Healthvision Festival of Disability Sport

March 27 and 28

Trustpower Arena, Mount Maunganui

Photography by: Andrew Warner Photography