New partnership sees Australian Paralympians serving as mentors

Australian NPC partnership with government allows Paralympians to mentor injured workers, accident victims. 23 Aug 2015
Joany Badenhorst on a snowboard at a snowboard-cross event.
ⒸNPC Australia
By NSW Government, Department of Finance, Services and Innovation

“Our Paralympians are heroes to our young people and pillars in our community, with their inspirational stories of struggle, sacrifice and achievement.”

The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) has formed an AUD 1 million partnership with the New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Dominic Perrottet that will see Paralympians mentoring young people seriously injured at work or on the road.

“Our Paralympians are heroes to our young people and pillars in our community, with their inspirational stories of struggle, sacrifice and achievement,” Perrottet said. “This partnership will give young injured people hope and encouragement by forging an invaluable connection with sporting heroes who have overcome similar experiences and achieved at the highest level.”

“Their well-placed support and guidance could make a lasting difference to a person’s life, especially for those at their most vulnerable.”

President of the APC Glenn Tasker said the partnership was the organisation’s longest running sponsorship.

“We are very proud of our enduring and important relationship with the NSW Government and we are delighted that this announcement will provide our Paralympians with more opportunities to share their inspiring stories and support others who have been affected by serious accidents,” Tasker said.

Safety, Return to Work and Support CEO Vivek Bhatia said WorkCover NSW originally started the Paralympian Speakers Programme, one of the government’s longest-running sponsorships, which would be re-named and administered by the newly formed Insurance & Care NSW (ICARE) going forward.

“For more than a decade, past and present sporting greats such as Leisl Tesch and Joany Badenhorst have been helping to build safer workplaces through the popular Paralympian Speakers Programme,” Bhatia said.

“Now we’re looking to build on the success of the almost 15-year partnership with a new programme that will give young people seriously injured in road and workplace accidents access to Paralympians as mentors.”

Grant Mizens was part of the Australian men’s national wheelchair basketball team that won gold at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, for which he received a Medal of the Order of Australia, as well as part of the team that won silver at Athens 2004 and London 2012. He was also part of the team that won both the 2013 and 2014 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Wheelchair Basketball World Championships.

“I look back and remember those that helped me most through these hard times,” Mizens said. “Now I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to do the same for these young kids.”

The programme will officially be launched by ICARE at the inaugural Paralympian sports day challenge later in the year.