Paralympics New Zealand has begun to celebrate the one-year countdown until the postponed Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Following postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Paralympics are now scheduled to take place in the Japanese capital from August 24 to September 5 in 2021.
Paralympics New Zealand has started the one-year-to-go countdown by celebrating its Paralympians and athletes.
"We are proud to celebrate and thank the many Kiwis that have throughout our 52-year history of the Paralympic Movement in New Zealand shown their support and passion," said Paralympics New Zealand chief executive Fiona Allan.
"This may be through working with individual Para athletes to support them to be the best they can be - family members acting as the taxi driver to endless training sessions; or as an armchair supporter watching the New Zealand Paralympic team in action taking on the best in the world."
Paralympic swimmer Nikita Howarth was among those to share her story, thanking her performance psychologist Rod Corban and strength and conditioning coach Caleb Dodds for their help during her career.
"Rod is incredible and he will help me with anything," she said.
"Whether it is a small problem or something to do with competing he is always there for me.
"Caleb is always pushing me to be better and has an absolute belief in me and my abilities."
Howarth became New Zealand's youngest Paralympian when she featured at London 2012 aged 13, before earning a gold medal in the women’s 200 metre individual medley SM7 and bronze in the women’s 50m butterfly S7 at Rio 2016.
Wheelchair rugby player Gareth Lynch and Para-athlete Ben Tuimaseve also shared their experiences.
PNZ has also launched its first-ever supporters club for the New Zealand Paralympic Team and called on the public to sign up.
As part of the Kiwi Crew, members will receive exclusive content and offers.
"At a time when Kiwis are being asked to come together, be kind and think of others we wanted to provide an opportunity for everyone to continue to show their support or perhaps connect with the New Zealand Paralympic Team for the first time," said Allan.
"Today we launch the 'Kiwi Crew', the first ever supporters club of the New Zealand Paralympic Team and encourage all New Zealanders to sign up."