It’s been a hectic start to the year for our ambassador, Jaden Movold. Despite the craziness, Jaden says it has been equally rewarding.
Keep reading to hear what Jaden has been up to so far this year.
“I headed to Australia for two incredible weeks in January, competing in wheelchair racing at the International Summer Down Under Racing Series, followed by the Canberra State Athletics Championships. As the top male New Zealand wheelchair racer, the opportunity to race in a full field of racers from various parts of the world was an incredible experience. I managed to post some awesome personal bests and bring home lots of bling! A significant highlight was winning a bronze medal in the Australian National Champs 5000m Open Men’s wheelchair. My New Zealand athletics season ended in Wellington at the National Athletics Champs, securing more championship wins followed by some much-needed time off out of my chair. The season for me doesn’t entirely end now, as I am busy preparing for May, where I will be flying to Switzerland for two weeks to compete in 3 international meets alongside some of the best in the world. I can’t wait!
Aside from my busy life on the track, I have been active in my various community roles. Last month I spent a day in Wellington as a member of the Ministry of Youth Development Advisory Group, strategically discussing with other advisory group members as well as with the Minister for Youth Development, the current government Youth Plan and how we can make it more impactful for youth in the future. It was a great day bringing our voices as young people to the discussions around policies that affect us.
I am passionate about advocacy and speaking up on matters that affect not only youth but also the disability community, so whether it is being involved in the Youth Advisory Group, the Halberg Youth Council, or the I.Lead National Committee, I set about to make a difference so that we all are included and can strive towards living the best life we can. My involvement with these committees has also given me opportunities to be invited to various consultations with other community groups and government departments. Being invited to sit at the table and have my voice heard as a young person with a disability gives me much optimism about the future. I look forward to more projects I will be involved with as the year progresses.
In addition to this advocacy type of work, I find ways to share my sport and give back to the community. I am fortunate to have had support from family, friends, and organizations over the years to pursue my dreams, particularly relating to sports, so I love to help encourage and inspire other young athletes as they pursue theirs.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended my 31st Weet-Bix TRYathlon. However, this time it was not as an athlete but as an ambassador. After completing my 30th Weet-Bix TRYathlon last year, Sanitarium awarded me the official “Weet-Bix Boy” title. It was fantastic to come back to support other young triathletes at an event that had been a massive part of my life growing up and helped ignite my passion for sports. Alongside a couple of New Zealand’s top sportspeople, I was honoured to hand out medals to the 2,800 kids that crossed the finish line.
I also volunteer regularly as an athletics coach, working with young athletes through Disability Sport Auckland Athletics sessions in different areas of Auckland. It’s so rewarding to pass on skills I have learned over the years with my journey in wheelchair racing while also inspiring the kids to set goals and dream big. We have been busy preparing for the upcoming Halberg Games this weekend, where most of the kids I help coach will participate. I can’t wait to watch them give everything they have, make friends, and have fun while fulfilling my role as a Halberg Youth Councilor.
Until next time, keep moving, help others, and enjoy life to the fullest!”