Regional | Disabled

'Jump in, get involved' and help kids with disabilities enjoy sport - Honey Hireme-Smiler

League star Honey Hireme-Smiler and Chiefs legend Liam Messam work with disabled and special needs kids and tell us about the true meaning of the Halberg Foundation.

"Our kaupapa is about an inclusive New Zealand and ensuring we give kids, disabled young people, the opportunity to participate, to be active whether that be in sport and recreation," says Hireme-Smiler (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Haua, Waikato-Tainui, Te Arawa).

On the day that Te Ao Toa visited them in the Waikato, tamariki were smiling and enjoying a multitude of different activities.

'We've got our primary kids, netball and rugby are always really popular. Even the likes of archery. Some of our kids that are limited in terms of their abilities, they're having a crack at archery and boccia," she says.

Boccia is a Paralympic sport similar to bowls.

"This afternoon, we've got volleyball, we've got table tennis."

"The idea is that if they enjoy that sport then they can go off and connect with say Waipapa rugby and go find a team for them to play in," says Hireme-Smiler.

"To continue that pathway for them to be able to play either alongside able-bodied or within a disabled programme."

Hireme-Smiler encourages whānau to help out if they can.

"We run a number of these events all around New Zealand and we're always looking for volunteers to help us.

"Please just check out our website, get in touch with myself or any one of our advisers all around the regions in New Zealand. Jump on, get involved, it's really rewarding working with tamariki and rangatahi."