Māori Paralympic hopeful wins at Halberg’s

By D'Angelo Martin

150 athletes with physical or visual impairment will compete at the Halberg Games, a national, three day sports competition at King's College in Auckland. The Games include; ceremonies, masterclasses, family festivities and 20 sports.

Te Ao reporter D'Angelo Martin attended the event and caught up with Takiri Wikitera who is a rising star at the competition.

Takiri Wikitera says, “Everything went pretty good, I thought I was going to come last in that race and it turned out pretty good because I came first and ended up winning.”

Wikitera has mild Cerebral Palsy and suffers from permanent movement disorder that appears in early childhood. Although that's the case, he continues to rise up and exceeds beyond people's expectations

Wikitera says, “We're all the same, we can do anything and anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”

This is Wikitera’s third time competing at the Halberg Games, his biggest goal is to represent New Zealand in wheelchair racing at the Paralympics.

 “I decided to do racing because I want to get into the paralympics one day and hopefully become the number one wheel chair racer.” Says Wikitera.

Takiri’s mother Amber Wikitera said it’s “a big dream that requires more than just skill.”

I suppose we haven't had enough support, when you have a child with a disability you have to get out there and you have to find that support. You have to know who your community worker for parafed who's working with you,” Amber Wikitera says.

But regardless of that, this young up and coming athlete remains positive and hopes he can inspire others.

Amber Wikitera says, “He's had one training because we've had problems with the chair then we've had problems getting to the track I've got five kids I have to organise them and have to try and get him and his wheel chair in the van.”

Takiri Wikitera concludes, “Stay strong, keep doing what you’re doing and have fun while you're still young!”

Tomorrow will be the last day for the Halberg games this year.