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Cruise The Bays Celebrated Everyone’s Abilities and Unique Journeys  

Cruise The Bays Celebrated Everyone’s Abilities and Unique Journeys

Geneva Healthcare’s Annual Fun Race for New Zealand’s Disability Sector

“Today, whatever level of capabilities or skills you have, I encourage you to take part in the race challenges.  Go for gold, because you can!  Go for your personal best and make this day your most colourful and most fun day yet!”  -  Josephine Wallis, Geneva Healthcare CEO

Last week’s freak weather conditions did not deter New Zealand’s disability sector and Geneva Healthcare from holding the 7th annual ‘Cruise The Bays  – Bubbles & Balloons’, their version of ‘Round The Bays’, by running the event indoors at the ASB Showgrounds. 

Over one hundred persons with disabilities from Geneva’s Community Living Homes, Geneva Elevator, and members of the public, raced as they were empowered to go for their personal best, while being cheered on by friends, families, Geneva staff and VIPs headlined by the Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health, Sport and Recreation; MP Simon O’Connor, Chair of Health Select Committee and MP for Tamaki; and Poto Williams, MP for Christchurch East.

“Today is not about disability, but it’s about your ability! It’s about celebrating life and not giving up!”  -  David Tua, New Zealand boxing legend, made a surprise appearance to rally the participants, signed autographs and took plenty of selfies.  

The day started off with some pre race fun as participants scribbled on the event mural about what living their best life means to them.   The mural later on became the event’s stage backdrop as Miss World New Zealand 2016, Karla de Beer, steered the ship as the event’s celebrity host.

After the Karakia blessing, the contestants raced off on foot, manual and power wheelchairs for the 3km, 1.5km and 500m races, with Dr Coleman and Mr O’Connor as the loudest cheerleaders.

A well deserved lunch post race offered a good spread of healthy and sumptuous meals specially prepared by the team at Attainable Trust and the Pure Food Company, with fresh fruit generously donated by the team at Fruit Runners.

Ms Wallis handed out the medals, ribbons and gifts to the proud winners with the help of Gilli Sinclair, Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand CEO.

The festivities continued with spot prize draws, dance music, a balloon crafter, giant lawn games, a rendition of 70’s hit song “We Are Family” by Geneva’s Art & Music Therapy Choir, and an impromptu fun race challenge between Dr Coleman and Geneva’s CEO, Josephine Wallis.

The day was truly a celebration of life with the added colour and excitement of a ‘Bubbles & Balloons Colour Cruise’ themed event that highlighted everyone’s uniqueness and vibrant colours, just like the bubbles and balloons that filled the venue.  

“We are all different, our lives are different, and everyone’s journey is different.  And today we celebrate those differences.  You don’t have to be just like the others to fit in, because you’re born to stand out as you!  We’re all beautiful in our own unique ways, and we are all special as we are!”  – Josephine Wallis, Geneva Healthcare CEO

Geneva provides persons with disabilities a caring home environment at their 25 Community Living Homes across Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua and Tauranga.  The annual Cruise The Bays event is just one of the many ways that their clients, and the wider disability community, are enabled the opportunity to reach goals and achieve their personal milestones.  

“Geneva is very much moving in the direction that the government wants to take Care & Living in the Disability Support Sector, helping people live the best life they possibly can in the community.”  - the Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman. 

A big thank you to the event’s generous sponsors and volunteers:   the ASB Showgrounds for coming to the party and making this event possible despite the weather; Gilli Sinclair and her team at Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand, Carey Smith and his team at Ray White Mission Bay, Pump Water, The Blues, The Warriors, Movenpick Mission Bay, Bar Comida,  Pure Food Company, Berkeley Cinema Mission Bay, Fruit Runners, Whitakers Chocolates, Office Max, Towelling It, and the volunteers from Bunnings Warehouse, Fletcher NZ, Menzshed Auckland East, and NZIE.

Pictured:  Geneva Healthcare’s Client Advisory Group members, Yung Chen and Patricia Harder, posed with Geneva Healthcare CEO, Josephine Wallis; and Miss World New Zealand 2016, Karla de Beer, who steered the ship as the event’s celebrity host

Clockwise From Bottom Left:  Geneva Healthcare’s Client Advisory Group member, Yung Chen, with Simon O’Connor, Chair of Health Select Committee and MP for Tamaki; Josephine Wallis, Geneva Healthcare CEO; Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health; and Gilli Sinclair, Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand CEO

 

Pictured:  Geneva Healthcare’s Client Advisory Group member, Yung Chen, with New Zealand boxing legend, David Tua, who made a surprise appearance to rally the participants, signed autographs and took plenty of selfies

Pictured:   Geneva’s VHN Specialist, Sheridan Slattery, with Ioane Tau at Cruise The Bays – Bubbles & Balloon Colour Cruise

From Left:  Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health;  Josephine Wallis, Geneva Healthcare CEO; Simon O’Connor, Chair of Health Select Committee and MP for Tamaki; and Tony Ryall, former Minister of Health          

Pictured:  Geneva Healthcare’s Client Advisory Group member, Yung Chen, with Gilli Sinclair, Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand CEO;  and Simon O’Connor, Chair of Health Select Committee and MP for Tamaki

Pictured:  Simon O’Connor, Chair of Health Select Committee and MP for Tamaki, checking out a Geneva Client’s adaptive tricycle

Pictured:   Cruise The Bays started off with some pre race fun as participants scribbled on the event mural about what living their best life means to them.   The mural later on became the event’s stage backdrop.

Pictured:  Cruise The Bays contestants raced off on foot, manual and power wheelchairs for the 3km, 1.5km and 500m race challenges

Pictured:  Geneva Healthcare CEO, Josephine Wallis, handed out the medals, ribbons and gifts to the proud race winners with the help of Miss World New Zealand 2016, Karla de Beer

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