As a 19 year old in 1995 I broke my neck playing rugby that left me quadriplegic. At he time I was playing hooker and the injury was the result of scrum impact. The medical terminology for my condition is C5C6 Asia B, which basically means I have no motor function from the chest down but I have almost normal sensation and feeling on all my body.
I live in Ngatea, a rural town on he Hauraki Plans. I’m married to Jo, who is my sole care-giver and we have two children Katie and Noah born in 2000 and 2007 respectively. They are my focus and inspiration, everything I do in life is driven by wanting to more with my family and be a more active father for my children.
Despite my injury and the resulting impact it has on my life on a daily basis I am still very active, have a competitive streak, and enjoy the comradeship sport brings to my life. This passion was originally fuelled by playing wheelchair rugby in 1996 – after the struggles of the day being on court with like individuals is a great release. Equals at last. In 1997 I made the WheelBlacks and in 1998 travelled with the team to win silver at the WRWC in Toronto.
In 20004 I took up hand-cycling, borrowed a mates hand-cycle and joined a local cycling club. I did a couple of races that April and proudly won the 10km time trial! What a buzz. Hand-cycling had far reaching positive effects on my life, it allowed me to be competitive but more importantly it allowed me to be more active and independent with my family.
In April 2013 I had great success at the NZ Club road nationals in Queenstown winning the 14km Time Trial and second in the road race. Without the financial assistance of the NZ Rugby Foundation I would never have been able to have the opportunity to chase my dream, thank you so much guys! I intend to continue to strive for higher honours in para hand-cycling and am focusing on making the New Zealand team for the World Championships in August 2014 in Greenville in the USA.
NZ Rugby Foundation
Sport Auckland House Level 4, Alexandra Park Function Centre, Gate B, Greenlane Road West, Epsom, Auckland