Franklin’s Paralympic shooters take on Sydney

Michael Johnson with his trophies from the ShootingWorld Cup in Turkey earlier this year.

Michael Johnson with his trophies from the ShootingWorld Cup in Turkey earlier this year.

Yesterday marked the one year countdown to Rio Olympics, and Paralympic Shooter, Michael Johnson is currently in preparation for the global event.

The Waiuku resident and a further ten athletes, including Waiau Pa’s Grant Sharman, are heading to Sydney tomorrow to compete in the IPC World Cup, which is also marks as a quota qualifier for Rio Paralympics 2016.
“Paralympic Shooting has come a long way since I first began in 2004.
There is so much more professional development and recognition. This is the biggest para-shooting team New Zealand has ever had, and I believe Grant has a great opportunity to make it into a final and quite possibly score a quota for New Zealand.” Former captain and coach of the Wheel Blacks, Grant has only recently taken up shooting, with Michael saying that he has great potential.
“He wasn’t too keen to begin with, but after coming with me to the range a couple of times, he has now become hooked.” Although Michael has scored a quota for the New Zealand team from competing in his first world Championships in Suhl Germany in July 2014, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is guaranteed a position at the Paralympics.
“Even though I scored the quote, I still have to work hard to maintain my position in the field. Competing in events, coaching and training is a full time role and I need to be at the top of my game – I’m not allowed to slack off!”
To mark the one year to Rio celebrations, Paralympic New Zealand and ACC have partnered to create The Spirit of Gold initiative, a long-term campaign designed to increase awareness and raise funds to support Para-Sport in the community. Held recently, 365 children took part in a para-fun day with New Zealand’s best Paralympians, which included Michael.
We wish Michael and Grant the best of luck in their upcoming competition in Sydney and look forward to catching up with them upon their return.

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