22 April 2024

220 young athletes, came together at King’s College this weekend, for the 2024 Halberg Games – a three-day national sports festival for young New Zealanders with physical disabilities in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.

Despite the persistent rain that threatened to dampen spirits, the Halberg Games 2024 persevered, showcasing the determination and camaraderie of athletes from across New Zealand.

Jakob Openshaw-Clark, a participant from Team Manawatu said “The best part about the games is just seeing people interacting and all the friendships that people make. And sometimes those friendships can carry on for life, which is pretty amazing.”

A total of 220 participants, representing teams from regions spanning Northland to Southland, came together in Auckland to compete and celebrate the spirit of inclusivity and resilience.

Throughout the weekend, athletes showcased their talents across a wide range of sports, including athletic, swimming, wheelchair basketball, and crossfit. A new addition to the Halberg Games and quickly becoming a crowd favourite was the Halberg Mile – in celebration of the charity’s founder Sir Murry Halberg, everyone on site including supporters, staff and volunteers had the opportunity to take part in this race.

Competitors in the Halberg Mile – Halberg Games Day 3 – Physically disabled and vision impaired athletes during on Day 3 of the Halberg Games 2024 at Kings College, Auckland, New Zealand on Friday 21 April 2024. Mandatory credit: Brett Phibbs / www.photosport.nz

Halberg is so proud to host this event with the help of the Parafed Network says Tom Smith, Halberg Chief Executive.

“For young people participating who are often left out of school or community sport this is their chance to represent their region with pride and passion, make lifelong friendships and be part of something!

In addition to the exciting sports, there was also a Festival filled with fun family activities. Many stakeholders attended including Skinnies, Samaori Coffee Cart, Rapid Relief, The Little Canteen, and our very own merchandise store where our newly launched Halberg Club line was on display.

23 Awards were presented to athletes and supporters for their amazing efforts across the weekend including:

  • Regional Team’s Most Valuable Team Members
    • Northland – Cooper Tanga-Walters
    • Auckland – Boston Marshall
    • Waikato – Gemma Griffiths
    • Bay of Plenty – Nico Dunn
    • Gisborne – Lezae Te Reo
    • Hawkes Bay – Tahlia Evans
    • Taranaki – Mahia Stephens
    • Whanganui – Max Walshe
    • Manawatu – Tiana Gray
    • Wellington – Nathaniel Wood
    • Tasman – Prayer Macdonald
    • Canterbury – Tallulah Mackay
    • South Canterbury – Luca Karl-Fassbender
    • Otago – Liberty Francis
    • Southland – Eloise Holz
  • Flight Centre Foundation Supporter of the Games Award – Katie Van-Dyk, Waikato
  • Lindsay Foundation Fair Play Award – Mahia Stephens, Taranaki
  • ISPS Handa Moment of the Games – Samuel Baylis, Manawatu
  • Aotearoa Gaming Trust Spirit of the Games Award (Male) – Asher Lewis
  • Joyce Fisher Trust Spirit of the Games Award (Female) – Nova Keen, Otago
  • Modelez New Zealand Team Spirit of the Games Award – Team Manawatu
  • David Levene Foundation Award for the Most Promising Athlete – Tiana Gray, Manawatu
  • MVP of the Halberg Games – The Sir Murray Halberg Cup – Caelen Harris, Waikato