Timothy Doidge of St James’ School, Palmerston North, has just won five medals at the Southern Cross Games in Auckland.
The Southern Cross Games are held biennially for vision-impaired students throughout Australasia from ages 9 -18 years old. This year the 150 students came from Samoa, all states of Australia and regions of New Zealand with 50 or so team managers and supporters. The Games were held at the Mangere aquatic centre, Ericcson Stadium and Auckland Domain and comprised swimming, athletics, soccer and goalball. Nine-year-old Timothy Doidge won three silver medals (50m backstroke, 200m running and long jump) and two bronze medals (70m running and cricketball throw).
The event was organised by RNZFB, and this was the first time it had been held in New Zealand in 16 years. The various states of Australia also take turns in hosting the event. A range of volunteers and sponsors gave considerable support. The generosity of spirit and deep Christian values were evident in the manner in which adults and students encouraged and supported others, by, for example, running with ties to enable the totally blind to compete in the athletics and helping others negotiate new environments, particularly stairs. This was an inspirational blend of competition and cooperation, displaying true sportsmanship.