“I am delighted to receive such a wonderful honour. During my tenure at Paralympics New Zealand, I have witnessed a huge shift in people’s attitudes towards Paralympic sport and an increased interest in Paralympic sport."
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) Chief Executive and leader of the Paralympic Movement in New Zealand, Fiona Allan, has been named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in recognition for services to Paralympic sport in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours.
For 12 years, Allan has been a driving force behind the development of Para sport in New Zealand. She has worked relentlessly to raise the profile of kiwi Paralympians in the community and to inspire the nation to think differently about disability. She is known throughout the sporting sector both nationally and internationally for her strong leadership, passionate advocacy for diversity and inclusion and her commitment to Para athletes and the growth of the Paralympic movement.
Fiona Allan said: “I am delighted to receive such a wonderful honour. During my tenure at Paralympics New Zealand, I have witnessed a huge shift in people’s attitudes towards Paralympic sport and an increased interest in Paralympic sport.
“An increasing number of national sports organisations are taking responsibility of Para sport within their sport to enable all athletes, regardless as to whether they have a disability or not, to participate within that sport.
“There are many more people that have contributed to an increased profile of Paralympic sport and no more importantly than our Paralympians and Para athletes that continue to inspire all New Zealanders through their sporting performance.”
Between Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016 the New Zealand Paralympic Games Team moved from 24th to 13th on the medal table. At both London 2012 and Rio 2016 the team finished first in the world for medals per capita.
Between Vancouver 2010 and PyeongChang 2018 the New Zealand Paralympic Winter Games Team moved from 11th to 6th for medals per capita.
Allan has been a key influencer behind the most extensive free to air broadcast of both a summer and winter Paralympic Game in partnership with TVNZ and Attitude. Kiwis showed their support with 2.2 million watching their heroes take on the world in Rio and 1.6 million kiwis supporting their winter Paralympians in PyeongChang.
Internationally, Allan was Secretary General of the Oceania Paralympic Committee from 2009 – 2013, enabling her to contribute to the development of Para sport within Pacific nations. In 2011, she was Chair of the highly successful 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, delivering a national economic impact of NZD 19.6 million. At the time, it was the second biggest event ever held outside of a Paralympic Games and referred to by many as a turning point for the standard of management and delivery of future Para sport World Championships events globally.
Allan has been involved in sport since her early teens, competing for Scotland in heptathlon in athletics before going on to study BSc Hons Sport Science and Administration at Nottingham Trent University. After six years in Melbourne, Australia, working in Government and local Government roles, she migrated to New Zealand and joined PNZ in 2007 as Operations Manager, becoming Chief Executive in 2008.
Through the success of New Zealand Paralympic Teams and community programmes, Allan and PNZ have used the power of sport to positively influence community perceptions of disabled people to promote a more diverse and inclusive society in New Zealand.