Bayfield High School pupil Samuel Tate, of Broad Bay, has
been selected to attend a week-long Outward Bound
leadership course, which starts today. Photo by Linda
A Dunedin schoolboy will miss the opening weekend of the
ski season today to attend an Outward Bound course to help him
carve a path to the Paralympics.
Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Otago and Southland
adviser Bridget Meyer said it was the first time the
foundation had selected 10 disabled New Zealand high school
pupils to attend a week-long Outward Bound course in the
Queen Charlotte Sound. The course starts today.
The trust targeted teenagers it believed were future leaders
and selected Queen's High School athlete Kirsten Read (17)
and Bayfield High School pupil skier Samuel Tate (16).
Snow Sports NZ adaptive manager Jane Stevens said Samuel was
placed on a pathway to become a future Paralympian because of
his ''drive, determination and commitment''. Snow Sports took
him to Colorado in November last year for nearly a month of
''full-on'' training at Winter Park Resort.
Samuel laughed about meeting Ms Stevens for the first time,
when she bluntly asked ''what's wrong with you?''
Samuel said his arm was paralysed and withered and he skied
with one ski pole, which he used on both sides of his body.
But as his skiing speeds increased, the technique was getting
more difficult to execute, he said.
Snow Sports wants him to race in Colorado in November, so the
former British resident recently become a citizen to
represent New Zealand in slalom, giant slalom and super giant
Fearlessness was necessary for competition, he said.
''Some of these Paralympians, they haven't got much else to
lose bodily wise. They're not fearful.''