Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Student to trial blades to become fastest disabled sprinter

UC student to trial blades in first step to becoming world’s fastest disabled sprinter

October 16, 2013

A 19-year-old University of Canterbury (UC) commerce student, Liam Malone, who lost both legs at the age of two, will trial his new running-blades for the first time on Friday (October 18).

Malone wants to be New Zealand's top sprinter at the 2016 Paralympics and enough funds have been raised from the public for him to buy a pair of blades.

``The blades are fixed to a high density plastic socket temporarily to make adjustments regarding the biomechanics of wearing the limbs before making a permanent carbon fibre socket,’’ Malone says.

``Grant Robertson, manager of UC’s sports programme, and his team have been absolutely awesome. They invited me into their athlete development programme, giving me access to their facilities in the gym.

``On Friday, Grant’s team will be helping me with biomechanics. Using a high-speed camera I will try and walk on the blades and then hopefully get into a run on the treadmill. The team from the Artificial Limb Centre by Burwood Hospital will come along to make adjustments following an analysis of the footage.’’

Robertson says Malone asked UC Sport to facilitate the testing with the Limb Centre as UC has a great set up at their Sport Science Centre and with help from Matthew Ingram, UC Sport's performance and technique analyst.

``He has been walking with the aid of parallel bars for support but. We need to look at his movement function as Liam transfers from walking to jogging to fast running and address any issues that arise through that process.’’

The former Nayland College student from near Nelson was born with a condition named fibular hemimelia, which meant both of his legs had to be amputated below the knee when he reached the age of two.

``I want to be the fastest disabled sprinter in the world. All the money for the news blades was donated which was incredibly overwhelming. I owe New Zealand a lot.

``I started skiing around the age of six and switched to snowboarding when I was 13. Snowboarding was a sport I could really compete equally against my peers.

``I was always involved in sport at school. My peers and coaches treated me no differently so I grew up with the expectation of having no excuses and to just simply try my best. I played rugby and cricket from the age of six.

``I never carried on with sprinting in my early teens because I was dealing with the illness of my mother and wanted to experience a normal teenage life. Sprinting would have taken up too much of my time,’’ Malone says.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Solid Energy: Plan To Shut Unprofitable Huntly East Mine

Solid Energy, the state-owned coal miner in voluntary administration, plans to shut down its unprofitable Huntly East mine and lay off 65 staff after deciding the site stands "no chance whatsoever" of finding a buyer. More>>


E Tū: Merger Creates NZ's Biggest Private Sector Union

E tū has been created by the merger of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Service and Food Workers’ Union. It represents more than 50,000 working New Zealanders in industries as diverse as aviation, construction, journalism, food manufacturing, mining and cleaning. More>>


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Scouring: Cavalier Merger Would Extract 'Monopoly Rents' - Godfrey Hirst

A merger of Cavalier Wool Holdings and New Zealand Wool Services International's two wool scouring operations would create a monopoly, says carpet maker Godfrey Hirst. The Commerce Commission on Friday released its second draft determination on the merger, maintaining its view that the public benefits would outweigh the loss of competition. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news