IPC Vice President and Paralympics New Zealand Board member Duane Kale received one of only two Lifetime Achievement Awards at the annual New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards in Auckland on Tuesday.
Jennah Wootten, General Manager Partnerships & Communication at Sport NZ, presented Kale with his award and as she read his citation spoke of his incredible achievements, contributions to the Paralympic Movement and New Zealand society.
Now in their 12th year, the awards celebrate excellence and leadership from across New Zealand’s broader play, active recreation and sport system.
"It’s vital that we celebrate the people and achievements that best support New Zealanders to be physically active," said Sport NZ Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin.
"The awards ceremony brings together leaders from across the system to recognise the top achievements and innovations, and to acknowledge leadership and lifetime achievement."
Tuesday's awards were the first to recognise Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion – a new category added this year and won by New Zealand Cricket for their excellent work in promoting women in governance.
"It’s important that we and our partners evolve with society and that these awards remain relevant by continuing to reflect the most important work our partners are doing,” said Peter Miskimmin.
"Ensuring more women and girls realise their potential in and through sport and active recreation is a key priority for all of us and the focus of a tremendous amount of collective action. Congratulations to all of the finalists in this inaugural award, and to New Zealand Cricket for their worthy success."
The awards coincide with Sport NZ’s annual Connections Conference for leaders from the play, active recreation and sport system.
Former Paralympic swimmer Kale competed at the 1996 Atlanta Games winning six medals (four gold, one silver and one bronze). He was New Zealand's swimming team manager at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics and the Chef de Mission of the New Zealand team at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.