achilles2Our Official Charity Partner is Achilles New Zealand, a 100% volunteer organisation.

Achilles change lives daily – enabling people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream running events to promote personal achievement.

Please help Cigna to support Achilles in breaking down barriers and improving the self-esteem of disabled athletes throughout New Zealand.

 

Inspirational Athletes and Guides

cigna-round-the-bays-by-mifarr-photography-465Josh Thomas (far left) and Maree Carson (third form left) with Achilles NZ team members at Cigna Round the Bays

 

Maree Carson – Achilles Athlete

Maree loves to run and although she has lost more than 95 percent of her vision, Maree wants to run faster still.

The 32-year-old Wellingtonian is a member of the Wellington chapter of Achilles NZ, the official charity of Cigna Round the Bays. Since joining Achilles, Maree says she “feels inspired” by the other disabled athletes she meets, a feeling that is shared by Josh Thomas – one of Maree’s guides.

Part of their preparation consists of the Achilles training runs held every second Sunday around the Wellington waterfront. Maree encourages anyone who’s thinking about joining to come along; “they’re a really great bunch of people and there’s always new guides joining us”.

 

Josh Thomas – Achilles Guide

Josh took up long-distance running in 2014 and first learned about Achilles from his mother after she heard a member speaking at a seminar. He got in touch with the charity and joined their training sessions as a guide for the disabled athletes.

Since joining Achilles, Josh has guided disabled athletes at multiple events, including the New York Marathon which he described as “one of the best experiences anyone can have”. He finds reward through helping others but is equally inspired seeing the Achilles members taking on challenges that are no easy feat for able-bodied athletes. “What they do is really incredible and very inspirational”.

 

To find out more about Achilles, their training sessions or becoming a guide, visit their website: http://www.achillesnewzealand.org/