Paralympics New Zealand wants residents to collectively record 40,000km of exercise to boost Paris 2024 preparations ©Paralympics New Zealand

Paralympics New Zealand is asking the country's residents to complete a virtual 40,000 kilometres round trip to the French capital Paris to mark one year until the start of the 2024 Paralympic Games.

New Zealand is planning to send a team of around 60 Paralympic athletes to Paris 2024, and it is hoped this campaign can provide a boost to their preparations.

New Zealanders are being asked to log walking, running, swimming, cycling or skiing activity to reach the symbolic 40,000km target.

It is hoped this will raise awareness and visibility of New Zealand's Para athletes, and participants are also encouraged to make a voluntary donation of NZD$1 (£0.47/$0.60/€0.55) per kilometre.

More than 750km has been recorded by participants since the campaign's launch yesterday.

New Zealand's Chef de Mission for the Paralympics Raylene Bates promised the team was one the country could be proud of.

"It has been a winter of thrilling Para sport performances, including world champion moments in Para athletics, Para swimming and Para cycling," Bates said.

"Kiwis are rightfully proud of the NZ Paralympic Team, which punches above its weight on the world stage."

Para cyclist Anna Taylor urged New Zealanders to
Para cyclist Anna Taylor urged New Zealanders to "get behind your Paralympic team" ©Paralympics New Zealand

New Zealand's newly-crowned women's C4 500 metres omnium world champion Anna Taylor underlined the importance of support for the team.

"We couldn’t do what we do without the backing of five million New Zealanders," she said.

"Everyone is welcome on the one team to Paris.

"Get behind your Paralympic team - you’re going to want to be part of this."

Last Monday (August 28) marked one year until the start of the Paralympics Games in Paris.

New Zealand is 25th on the all-time medals table at the Summer Paralympics.

It won six golds, three silvers and three bronzes at the re-arranged Games in Tokyo.