As a pimply teenager I was uncertain of my place within this world but I knew I wanted to be a Paralympian. In the pursuit of training toward my passion I recognized the importance of telling people about my dreams and at the time told hundreds, maybe thousands that I would not stop my athletic pursuit until I stood on the highest podium with a Paralympic Gold Medal around my neck. The pursuit made me stronger, fitter and more mobile, it led to a university scholarship, travel and competition in championships throughout the world. At the point of wanting to take my competition from a national to an international level I was fortunate to be introduced to The North Harbour Club - a group of individuals who knew what it meant to live in the pursuit of excellence and through their own success were passionate about growing the excellence of the North Shore. Upon introduction I wasn't successful in my application for an AIMES Award but I received a special judges award that funded a trip to Australia where I won my first Championship and established a connection and friendship with the North Harbour Club.
As years passed doors opened that saw me in a position to not just apply for the Sports award but an award for Services to the Community. Through embracing opportunity and changing desires I was hit with what had been my toughest decision as a young person - to continue with my athletics or pursue an opportunity that would eventually (although unknown at the time) see me competing in a bigger world.
My biggest fear in moving-on from Athletics was that people who had supported me through the investment of money, time and friendship would be disappointed. At this cross-roads members of the North Harbour Club gave me their greatest value, sharing with me that change is a good thing and that if well thought out people would show that it's not isolated to what you do but who you are that attracts the greatest support and that if indeed I continued to play big NO ONE would be disappointed.
Here the North Harbour Club (which I'm now a proud Ambassador for) made a tough decision into a valuable lesson; dream, share, connect, inform and change. Twelve years on from meeting the North Harbour Club I've built friendships, informally received some of the greatest mentoring, met stars who will become legends, and heard from legends who reached for the stars.
Now applications for the 2014 AIMES awards are open. For young people pursuing excellence in the North Harbour Region I'd highly recommend you apply TODAY! What you receive will be a result of what you believe. The Categories are:
Art, I.T - Innovation & Science, Music, Education, Sports, Services to the community
I applied four times and didn't always win an award but the experiences from each application are learning’s I continue to grow from today.
Thanks to those who live for a purpose beyond themselves, and good luck to those who dare to dream big! You all inspired and inspire me to now know my place in this world.
Check out www.northharbourclub.co.nz for details