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Let’s celebrate our everyday achievers and big winners

14 October 2011

Let’s celebrate our everyday achievers and big winners

Asthma is so common in Aotearoa that if people consider their friends, family, workmates and other people they know, they’re likely to find a deserving nominee for the Asthma Foundation’s Achievers Awards, nominations for which close next Friday, 21 October.

“The awards are about people who achieve things despite the challenges of their asthma or other respiratory conditions,” says the Foundation’s Chief Executive, Angela Francis.

“1 in 4 New Zealand children has asthma, which at 215 000 plus is more children than the total population of urban Hamilton. Many children are faced with significant challenges but do really well to overcome them.”

There are a number of Achievers Award categories for adults as well.

Every Achievers nominee receives a certificate to acknowledge that maybe they’ve got a range of interests they invest time in, or they achieve high school marks consistently or have a great attitude towards their school work. They might be good at sports, into art, driven by drama or other pursuits. It may be that they are just a pleasure to be around, or have shown a brave face when hospitalised by asthma.

“These awards also promote and celebrate asthma management. Management of your asthma, rather than taking a casual approach, can be and often is the difference between letting asthma run your life, and keeping it in control and living life as you want,” Angela says.

“You can’t let asthma run your life, you need to figure out how to work around it, find out what’s triggering it and manage it.”
2009 Supreme Achiever (Open Maori category), Jason Wynyard.

Eight Supreme Achievers will be selected from the nominations, and will be invited by the Asthma Foundation to be presented with their Awards by the Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, at Government House in Wellington on 22 November.

Our past Supreme Achievers include Hana Wolzak, a woman with asthma who swam Cook Strait, Jason Wynyard, a world champion wood chopper with asthma, and Aalyana Iosefa, a young girl with asthma and allergies who showed extraordinary courage and tenacity following her younger brother’s death from asthma.

Another 2009 Supreme Achiever (the awards are held every two years), Peter Marshall, put a smile on the face of everyone he met because his attitude towards his pulmonary rehabilitation classes was so positive.

“The awards night in Wellington will be a grand occasion and a lot of fun,” Angela says.

“We were treated like royalty and made to feel really special. There was a lovely bunch of people who all got on really well. It was nice to meet and share stories and experiences. For quite a few of the Supreme Achiever’s asthma was there but it hasn’t stopped us from doing anything.”

2009 Supreme Achiever (Open category), Karolyn O’Connor talking about the awards night.

Nominations can be made at


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