Champion swimmer with the right Attitude

NZ Paralympic swimmer Mary Fisher is encouraging nominations for the 2015 Attitude Awards, which acknowledge the unsung heroes of NZ’s disability sector.

Born blind without irises in both eyes, Paralympic swimmer Mary Fisher has won gold medals, world championships and set records. But of all her achievements, she says winning the 2014 Attitude Youth and Attitude ACC Supreme Awards was one of her most memorable moments, a statement from the award organisers says.

The Attitude Awards celebrate the excellence and accomplishments of Kiwis with disabilities and set out to challenge perceptions of what is achievable for the one in four New Zealanders with a disability.

“It was such an amazing feeling to be recognised in that way,” Mary says.
Back for an eighth year, Attitude are now calling for nominations for the 2015 Attitude Awards to recognise the achievements of Kiwis living with disability – whether on the international stage or in the local community.

Mary says the stories from last year’s finalists were pretty emotional. From a service station manager to a fashion graduate to a dance teacher, every person was inspiring those around them.

“Some people might think “That’s not for me”, but the awards are for everybody. The New Zealand disability community is such a cool group to be a part of and is so supportive,” she says.

Mary has continued to support those around her through mentorship of blind youth and their families. Earlier this year she also found time to run a marathon alongside Malcolm Law as part of High Five-0 (fifty marathons in fifty days) for the Mental Health Foundation. It was a huge challenge, she says, but all for a good cause.
With a busy year ahead, Mary’s hoping she’ll be back in New Zealand for the Attitude Awards black tie gala at the Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland on December 3.

There are eight categories in the Attitude Awards: Sport Performer of the Year, Courage in Sport, Artistic Achievement, Youth, Junior, Spirit of Attitude, ACC Employer Award and the Making a Difference Award. The Attitude ACC Supreme Award is selected from the category winners.

Chief executive of ACC, Scott Pickering, says ACC is proud to be principal sponsor of the awards, including sponsorship of the Attitude ACC Employer Award and the Attitude ACC Supreme Award.

ACC along with Lion Foundation, Invacare, Barfoot and Thompson, Westpac, Drake Medox, Ministry of Health, Air New Zealand, Wayne Francis Charitable Trust and the IHC Foundation are among the sponsors supporting the event.

Nomination information and entry forms go to Nominations close at 4pm on Wednesday July 8. Note: nominations for Sport Performer remain open until Tuesday September 22.

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