Te Kopa Kopa

Te Kopa Kopa

Keen sportsman Te Kopa Kopa has a bright future ahead of him, especially on the basketball court.

Te Kopa, who has Spina Bifida, plays wheelchair basketball in the Parafed Northland men’s team. Recent funding from the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation’s AllSports Activity Fund helped the 16-year-old Kaikohe resident obtain a customised basketball wheelchair to replace the second-hand chair he had borrowed from Parafed Northland.

Te Kopa is thrilled with his new chair, which will improve his performance and allow him to compete in the sport both at school and in the community.

“It’s great because it’s my very own and not a hand-me-down,” he says. “It’s custom made to fit perfectly and allows me to move around the court faster and it improves my turning ability.”

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Te Kopa recently attended the and bravely conquered his fear of the water. He also went to the Paralympics New Zealand Athletics Talent ID Camp, where he participated in the shotput and javelin events.

“What I love about sport is that you get to meet new people and make new friends,” says Te Kopa, who dreams of one day playing wheelchair basketball for New Zealand at the Paralympics.

Halberg Disability Sport Adviser Maia Lewis helped Te Kopa with the Halberg Activity Fund grant for his new wheelchair and was impressed by his abilities.

“Te Kopa is a naturally talented sportsman with an awesome competitive attitude. His natural physique and upper body strength holds him in great stead for any type of throwing and hand-eye activities,” says Maia.