ACC have anounced a partnership with Paralympics New Zealand designed to inspire those living with a disability ©ACC

A major new partnership has been announced between ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) and Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) designed to inspire those living with a disability and to encourage people to take up new and suitable sports.

Wellington-based ACC are a crown-entity who, claim to, seek to provide comprehensive, no-fault personal injury cover for all residents and visitors to the Oceanic country. 

Using the ongoing success of Kiwi Paralympians will also motivate injured New Zealanders returning to life after an accident, they hope. 

For PNZ the partnership is a means to identify and support new Para-Athletes with a view to deepening its talent base through to next year's Games in Rio de Janeiro and on to Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

“We are incredibly proud to be partnering with ACC," said PNZ chief executive Fiona Allan.

"The synergies between our two organisations are clear, as is our joint passion for encouraging, supporting and promoting social change for the 1.1 million Kiwis living with a disability in New Zealand.

“Involvement in sport has proven health and wellbeing benefits that are even more pronounced in those with a disability.

"Para-Sport is also unique in its ability to empower individuals.

"That ACC has chosen to partner with us in this way truly underlines the passion, hard-work and commitment of everyone that works in the sector.”

New Zealand will be hoping to improve upon their 17 medal haul at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Rio ©Getty Images
New Zealand will be hoping to improve upon their 17 medal haul at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Rio ©Getty Images

ACC chief executive Scott Pickering added: “Being able to create and facilitate opportunities for our clients with disabilities to try Para-sport as part of their recovery and return to independence is just fantastic.

"Recovery can be a very long road and to be part of a group of equally motivated individuals who are discovering what they can do, rather than what they can’t, is enormously beneficial to that process.”

The partnership, to be celebrated for the first time when ACC joins PNZ at the AUT Millennium in Mairangi Bay on September 7 to coincide with One Year To Go celebrations, marks an extension of the body's Spirit of Gold Initiative.

As well as to fund those on the Road to Rio 2016, this is also a long-term campaign designed to increase awareness and raise funds to support Para-sport in the community.

A total of 365 children in home-made gold supporters’ costumes will take part in a photoshoot with some of New Zealand’s best Paralympians, including six-time swimming champion Sophie Pascoe, Athens 2004 gold medal winning shooter Michael Johnson, sprinter-turned-cyclist Kate Horan and London 2012 cycling winner Laura Thompson. 

This will form part of a "Para-Fun Day" in which children will be taught about Para-Sport and disabilities.

In Rio the country will then be aiming to improve upon their 17 medal haul at London 2012, where six golds were won as the team finished 21st on the medals table.

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