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Cayley has Attitude and the Spirit to Match

Media release

September 12 2016

Cayley has Attitude and the Spirit to Match

Number crunching and tasks like shopping and cooking may prove difficult for Cayley Colyer, but this hasn’t hindered the 20-year-old’s determination to go flatting, do heaps of voluntary work and swim competitively at the Special Olympics.

It’s Cayley’s attitude to life that has seen her selected as a finalist in the 2016 Attitude Awards’ Spirit of Attitude Award category. The national awards celebrate the excellence and achievements of Kiwis living with disability and chronic health.

Cayley, who lives in Papakura, has an intellectual disability. Telling the time correctly is one of the challenges she faces, but she has found ways around it by having alarms set to remind her to do things.

Cayley trains for swimming at the Pukekohe and Papakura pools. On Sunday nights she trains with her friend Sam, whom she met after her parents Fenella and Paul saw him in a story on Attitude one Sunday morning and set about getting them introduced.

“I started swimming for personal fitness, but I’ve started doing competitions for my club,” Cayley smiles.

Outside of swimming, Cayley enjoys working with art and has set up her own art studio, producing colourful abstract pieces. She works at the Papakura Art Gallery four days a week doing a variety of chores including helping out with art classes. Other voluntary jobs see her at Middlemore Hospital and at a rest home where she loves hearing residents’ stories.

Long term Cayley says one day she would like to start her own business. Her message is simple: “stay positive and live your dreams.”

She will find out if she has won the Spirit of Attitude Award at a black tie event at the ASB Showgrounds on November 29.

There are eight categories in the 2016 Attitude Awards, with some new awards this year: Youth Spirit, Making a Difference, Emerging Athlete, Sporting Spirit, Spirit of Attitude, Artistic Achievement, Entrepreneur and Employer Award.

The overall winner of the Attitude ACC Supreme Award is selected from the category winners and a People’s Choice winner and Hall of Fame inductee are also announced at the awards.

Dan Buckingham, Chair of the Attitude Trust, says: “Once again I take my hat off to the judges for managing to narrow down the record number of nominations we had to just 24 finalists, across the eight categories. Now I’m looking forward to getting to know the finalists as we travel around the country filming with them and sharing their stories.

“Thank you to our fantastic family of sponsors who have allowed us to once again shine a light on some great Kiwis living with disabilities doing some great things.”

Dan encourages everyone to visit in early November to see short films of the finalists and to vote for the person most deserving of the ‘People’s Choice Award’.

The Spirit of Attitude Award is sponsored by Drake Medox. Gay Barton, National Manager for Drake Medox New Zealand and Australia says Drake Medox is proud to again be supporting the Spirit of Attitude Award.

“Despite their own personal challenges and disability, the finalists have shown us that virtually nothing is impossible if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude. We congratulate all nominees for their extraordinary and inspirational achievements.”

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) returns as principal sponsor of the 2016 Attitude Awards. Other Sponsors supporting the Awards are: The Lion Foundation,
Westpac, Barfoot & Thompson, Ministry of Health, Manawanui InCharge, Ricoh, HealthCare NZ, Air New Zealand and NZ on Air.

ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering says ACC is proud to be principal sponsor of the Attitude Awards for the ninth year, as well as sponsor of the Supreme Award and the Employer Award categories.

“The Attitude Awards are important because they remind us that everyone benefits when we all look at what we can do, rather than what we can’t,” Mr Pickering says. “This year’s finalists have an impressive list of achievements, and ACC is delighted to acknowledge New Zealanders who live life to the fullest, achieve their goals, and are role models in our communities.”

For tickets to the Attitude Awards gala evening on November 29 contact Terri Cavanagh at or phone 09 378 1565.

For the latest on the Awards and the Attitude TV programme:
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Watch previous Awards footage at


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