DLANZ Sports Thoughts: Tribute to Bill Lean Paralympian A great tree has fallen in Tane’s Forest of Hauaa / Disabled

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Sad way to start 2015 Sports Thoughts, with the passing of a great man in the world of Disability and the Sports Movement News from Paralympic and Special Olympics too

DLANZ Sports Thoughts
Tribute to Bill Lean
Kia Kaha / Be Strong to NZ Special Olympics Team
Paralympics…Is it a no go for Tokyo Yachting 2020?

: Tribute to Bill Lean Paralympian
A great tree has fallen in Tane’s Forest of Hauaa / Disabled

Sad way to start 2015 Sports Thoughts, with the passing of a great man in the world of Disability and the Sports Movement too

Tribute to Bill Lean
‘Ka hinga Te totara i te wao nui a Tane’ meaning: A great tree has fallen in Tane’s forest

Sad way to start 2015 Sports Thoughts, with the passing of a great man in the world of Disability and the Sports Movement Quoting New Zealand Paraplegic Association’s Facebook Page

“The Paralympics New Zealand Board and Staff wishes to pass our condolences on to the family of Bill Lean. Sadly Bill passed away on 2 April 2015 aged 73, after a short illness….Bill made his Paralympic debut in Israel 1968 Paralympic Games, this was the first team that Paralympics New Zealand sent to a Paralympic Games. He then went on to compete at the Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games where he won a Gold medal in the Men’s Shot Put 4 and set a new World Record. Bill continued to represent New Zealand at the Holland 1980 Paralympic Games where unfortunately he could not compete due to heart problems. Bill was a very talented Paralympian competing in a variety of sports including Archery, Athletics, Bowls and Table Tennis….Bill is New Zealand's seventh Paralympian. Bill is to be commended and remembered as it is early Paralympians such as Bill that have paved the way for future Paralympians to succeed today and in the future…’’
The final quote “Bill will be greatly missed by the Paralympic Family....” reminds me of an old Maori proverb ‘Ka hinga Te totara I Te wao nui a Tane’ meaning A great tree has fallen in Tane’s forest and Bill was a great ‘tree’ in Disabled World. Speaking as one raised in those times, I remember being a spectator at The Commonwealth Para Games in Dunedin 1974 when Bill won the Weightlifting Gold Medal. The crowd jumped for joy when he broke the World record, which in my view had more impact than anything Christchurch able bodied games had to offer. Bill will be remembered as like many before him (Betty Williamson Keith McCormack Christine Smith etc), who were ‘role models’ for the strength, courage and fortitude.

Kia Kaha / Be Strong to NZ Special Olympics Team
A Big Shout Out to those attending World Games as per their Facebook “This year a team of 36 Athletes will travel to Los Angeles to compete in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Seventeen volunteers have put their hand up to manage and/or coach our New Zealand team who will be competing in aquatics, athletics, basketball, tenpin bowling, bocce, golf, equestrian and powerlifting.”
The Special Olympics has a long history as Wikipedia write ‘’ Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics competitions are held every day, all around the world—including local, national and regional competitions, adding up to more than 70,000 events a year.’’ And from what little I know, provides an upbeat and positive environment for disabled strength discipline and social progression.
A classic example posted on Special Olympics New Zealand about an inspirational story / korero from Special Olympics New Zealand about a young Tane Ethan Rangi (Iwi unknown), competing with The Paralympics New Zealand team and his results......amidst all the talk of Aotearoa's NZ Youth issues which need addressing....an upbeat story for all...keep smiling …..As posted on DLANZ Facebook.

Paralympics…Is it a no go for Tokyo Yachting 2020?

Firstly all the best to our Para Olympians like Sophie Pascoe, Cameron Leslie and others who have qualified for World Champs in their respective events leading up to Rio Olympic 2016.

However / Engarei a bit of controversy has blown up over Tokyo Olympics NOT including Yachting for their Olympic Games 2020. As Paralympics New Zealand writes on their website: “The Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games introduced Sailing as a demonstration sport, leading to its acceptance as a full medal sport at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics. This sport is open to athletes with an amputation, cerebral palsy, blindness/visual impairment, spinal injuries and les autres. The objective in sailing is to navigate a set course in a faster time than your opponents. Athletes compete in three events, which are non-gender specific: The Single-Person and Three-Person Keelboats are open to most disability groups, while the Two-Person Keelboat event is specifically designed for athletes with a severe disability.”

According to IPC International Paralympic Committee the decision was based on their Criteria Handbook as stated on NZ Paralympic website “The IPC Handbook states only team sports widely and regularly practised in a minimum of 24 countries and three IPC regions will be considered for inclusion in the Paralympic Games and for individual sports a minimum of 32 countries in three IPC regions” This is somewhat of a surprise, as Para Sailing has been, according to Wikipedia, up and running first as a demonstration event 1996 and became an official sport a decade later. In fact 2016 Rio Olympics are including this, so wouldn't it be better till after that?

DISABLED LIBERATION AOTEAROA NZ takes the position that if able bodied / maaroherohe are Sailing, so should Disabled compete. DLANZ support Change Org Petition and Facebook Group Reinstate Paralympic Sailing into 2020 Games, in their World wide efforts to have this decision repealed. Masaru OTSUKA President of the Japanese Association for Parasport Sailing wrote;
? Thus we are planning the Tokyo infrastructure for sailing which is expected to become a type of Mecca for Asian sailing and also utilized by many other people from handicapped to children and senior citizens for many generations to learn and educate in the natural environments. We have started our campaign with one voice to keep sailing at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic and we would like to express our sincere appreciation and expectation for your strongest support and understanding”

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