A cohort of New Zealand Para badminton team had the opportunity to showcase Para badminton alongside the recent Oceania Championships, thanks to Tātaki Auckland Unlimited.
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, a proud supporter of New Zealand badminton events, have also shown their commitment to inclusion through their advocacy for Para badminton events and opportunities.
Badminton New Zealand's Diversity and Inclusion Manager Michelle Au comments,
We really appreciate Tātaki Auckland Unlimited's support of Para badminton. From our first Para National Championships through to this Para Challenge showcase, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited has helped us to highlight our sport's pathways for disabled New Zealanders.
The Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Para Challenge saw members of the NZ Para badminton team contest a team tie against Auckland-based badminton talent. The broad audience, including fans from Australia, the Pacific and New Zealand, were treated to five matches, featuring Para badminton stars, Thomas Slade and Oliver Linton, among others.
Thomas, an SU5 athlete who competed at the 2022 BWF Para Badminton World Championships commented, "The games were admittedly tough, but this was a great chance for us to compete in an international tournament environment, locally."
Oceania SL3-SU5 Mixed Doubles champion, Oliver Linton also enjoyed the experience, "It was cool to bring able-bodied people to play on a Para badminton (SL3) court in this tournament-like setting. I hope to be able to do more opportunities like this again!"
Whilst the New Zealand Para badminton team were unable to achieve the overall win, the success of the Para Challenge demonstrated the capability and platform for future Para badminton events and activations, through partnerships with council, associations and NSOs.
Badminton New Zealand thanks Tātaki Auckland Unlimited for their financial support and Badminton Oceania and Auckland Badminton for their in-venue support.