Rachel Froggatt from Paralympics New Zealand talks about how the pathway from community awareness of sport participation for people of disability through to international representation is tough. Tough all the way.
Funding for the parts “That matter” is not available at all for community awareness and community development and only partially available for the Paralympic Games and athlete development.
The reality was media journalists were terrified about saying the wrong thing about the athletes.. So she led an education programme in a secret locked room with no recording so they could ask ANYTHING. Led by Rachel Froggatt Commercial and Marketing Director from Paralympics New Zealand.
She also trained them how to talk about disability, influence the influencer. And ensured that the media releases were usable, focused on topics the media wanted cover so it enabled more publicity. Making community role models for able bodied and disabled people from Paralympic sports people has been key.
Corporates are now getting involved because a lot of long term disability can use sport as a pathway to rehabilitation and business is prepared to back this with commercial sponsorship.