As the Paralympics was exposing Northland's disabled athletes to the world, the next generation were getting ready to take up the mantle in the Halberg Northland Junior Disability Sports Day in Whangarei this week.
More than 40 physically disabled and visually impaired young people aged from 7-21 took part, giving them the opportunity to compete and try new sports. Eleven adapted and disability specific sports were on offer including; goalball, taekwondo, balloon soccer, table tennis, adapted football, blind football, powerchair football, blind cricket, badminton, boccia and wheelchair basketball.
Taekwondo and badminton are new sports for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, Northland Halberg Disability Sport adviser Maia Lewis said.
The day provided holistic benefits for the youngsters, giving them a chance to compete in sports, build self-confidence and skills and improve health, Ms Lewis said.
Taking part also sets young athletes on a path towards representing Team Northland at the 2017 Halberg Junior Disability Games, a three-day sports competition that will be held in Auckland in October next year.