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Rotorua Weekender - 2021-10-15

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Paralympian pushes positives of athletics

NEWS

Paralympic champion shot putter Lisa Adams has backed Athletics NZ’S Athletics for Every Body campaign and called on tamariki to join their local athletics club this summer. The Rotorua-based thrower was one of New Zealand’s star performers at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, her winning shot put F37 gold with a best throw of 15.12m. Lisa, who played several sports including netball, basketball and rugby league before opting for track and field, encourages any youngster to give the sport a go for three main reasons. “To try something new, meet new people and have fun,” she says. “Just enjoy yourself and what you’re doing, try anything and everything.” The Athletics for Every Body campaign is encouraging Kiwi kids to give athletics a go — a sport that can be embraced by everyone regardless of their ability, size, shape or height. Lisa, 30, who was born with left hemiplegia a form of cerebral palsy, was a late starter and only introduced to the sport in December 2017. Yet the 1.88m tall shot putter of Lake City Athletic Club has proved a quick learner. A little under two years after taking up the sport, she claimed the world shot put T37 title in Dubai and last year in Hastings posted her current world record mark of 15.50m. “I am always keen to give new things a go, so I went and tried it out,” adds Lisa, who is coached by her sister — double Olympic champion Dame Valerie Adams. “The rest is history.” Without question, athletics has taken Lisa on an incredible journey and it has enriched her life in many ways. “Athletics has given me the drive to make great changes in my life and grow as a person. It has allowed me to travel to awesome places, experience, witness amazing things and meet some really cool people.” Athletics for Every Body is a nationwide campaign running during October and November to encourage K iwi kids to give running, jumping, or throwing a go. For more information go to athletics.org.nz/ athletics-for-everybody-campaignlaunched/

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