Blog: Empowering Disabled Youth Through Sport

By Jacob Phillips

Jacob Phillips writes about the 2017 Halberg Junior Disability Games.

The 2017 Halberg Junior Disability Games took place from 6-8 October 2017 at King’s College in Auckland. The event saw 146 athletes aged eight to 21 years representing 12 regional teams across 21 different sports. Halberg Youth Council member Jacob Phillips took the ‘Athletes Oath’ on behalf of all competitors; in this blog he writes about his experience of the Games.

The biggest highlight of the Halberg Junior Disability Games for me every year is always seeing all the new faces and meeting as many of them as I can. A highlight for me this year was seeing the smiles on the competitors’ faces as they participated in the Games and were enjoying themselves over the weekend.

I also just enjoy the atmosphere the Games creates, bringing disabled youth together for a weekend of new experiences and the opportunity to meet lots people and hear everyone’s individual stories of growing up with a disability, as well as the impact sport had on them is truly empowering.

As a member of the Halberg Youth Council, I aimed to engage with as many of the supporters and athletes as possible to hear their thoughts on the disability sport sector and also to see if their experiences were similar to mine and if they weren’t then what could Halberg or the Youth Council do to change this.

In terms of my own personal sports goals, I aim to once again compete at the Paralympics and hopefully improve on my previous performance. I also aim to try and get as many new people involved in disability sport so it can continue to help disabled people grow as individuals and athletes.

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