Press Release – ACC NZ Masters Games
Tomorrow when competitors line up for the 5km Walk at the NZ Masters Games in Dunedin 12 competitors will be set to show New Zealand that they can still walk the walk even though Multiple Sclerosis has ravaged their bodies.7 February 2012
Masters Games 5K Walk Inspires Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers
Tomorrow when competitors line up for the 5km Walk at the NZ Masters Games in Dunedin 12 competitors will be set to show New Zealand that they can still walk the walk even though Multiple Sclerosis has ravaged their bodies.
“I have MS – MS doesn’t have me!!”, that’s the over arching sentiment that will be driving these gutsy walkers when they stride out tomorrow according to Liz Carroll-Lowe, MS Development Coordinator from the Otago Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Liz says, “The Masters Games is such a wonderful opportunity for our people to show the community what you can do when you have MS. So many people focus on what can’t be done – we wanted to show the community what can be done.
“MS can be socially isolating. Invitations to participate or be included in life events stop coming when people are diagnosed with MS. Our people are determined to show that they are still people not just a diagnosis.”
Liz says Otago Multiple Sclerosis staff, volunteers and some family members will be walking alongside the MS participants encouraging and supporting when necessary. Six of the group are striving to walk the entire distance, while six will be in wheelchairs. Liz says, for the self wheelers, 5ks will also be a huge achievement for them.
The group have been following a specialised training programme developed by Dr Cath Smith from the University Of Otago School Of Physiotherapy and Liz says the group have been getting a huge buzz from their involvement.
“Receiving their acceptance forms from the Masters Games, a mainstream sporting event, was a huge high for them and you just can’t put a dollar value on that. As one of our walkers said, ‘We may not be in the medals – but that’s not important. We’re doing it!’.”
Support for the group entry has come from the Bendigo Valley Sports and Charity Foundation.
NZ Masters Games 2012
February 4 – 12