Five Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympic hopefuls have met Prime Minister Bill English in Auckland as Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) officially marked the beginning of the journey towards next year's Games.
More than 140 guests, including Minister for Sport Jonathan Coleman, were invited to the Prime Minister's Dinner at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
During the evening, Vancouver 2010 slalom standing gold medallist Adam Hall explained how important the opportunities he had as a Paralympian had shaped his life.
Hall was joined by fellow Para Alpine skiers Aaron Ewen, Samuel Tate and Aaron Ewn as well as Para snowboarder Carly Murphy as they gave guests a better understanding of the work and investment required to be successful on the global stage.
They explained the costs involved such as flights, hotels, uniform, freight and excess baggage for wheelchairs and equipment.
As a result, guests generously made pledges on the night and Prime Minister English gave his support.
“To achieve our mission of excellence and equity through sport we must continue to deliver medal-winning performances and key programmes to positively influence social inclusion of disabled people," said PNZ chairman Selwyn Maister.
"We are incredibly grateful for the Government investment we receive; this covers our high performance programme and around a third of our Games costs."
The Pyeongchang 2018 hopefuls were joined by a number of summer Paralympians also.