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Wheelchairs on the move

MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013
Jamie Masters
YOUTH LEADERS: PHAB clubs co-ordinator Jamie Masters, left, and The Cube youth representative Josh Fuimaono are passionate about seeing young people with a disability fulfil their dreams.

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Nothing could derail a wheelchair train of more than 100 people from trying to break a Guinness World Record.

Drizzly weather didn't stop Auckland's disabled community descending on Wynyard Quarter to form what they hoped would be the world's longest moving line of wheelchairs.

Albany based disability organisation The Cube was behind the record attempt on December 3 to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Led by Unsworth Heights boy Jaden Movold, 9, the wheelchair train included people from all over the city and a number of able-bodied people who joined in to advocate for the rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities.

About 120 people wheeled their way around the Viaduct Event Centre filmed by television crews and photographers.

The previous record of 193 wheelchairs was set in 2010 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. While the record was not broken this time, The Cube youth representative Josh Fuimaono says it was an opportunity to "make an impact" and raise awareness of disability issues in Auckland.

"The availability of opportunities is a big one. Young people with disabilities find it hard in most cases to get around and because of that there are fewer opportunities to take part in things others wouldn't think twice about."

The Cube and its Youth Engagement Group aim to support young people and their families taking part in education, health, recreation and employment activities.

"We offer a lot of peer support and mentoring. We like to acknowledge that yes there are barriers, but there are ways around them."

According to Statistics New Zealand 17 per cent of the population has a disability with more than half of those physically disabled. There are 90,000 New Zealand children aged 14 and under with a disability.

Go to thecube.org.nz.

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- North Shore Times

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