New Zealand's Rio 2016 Paralympic Games gold medallists Sophie Pascoe, Liam Malone, Cameron Leslie and Nikita Howarth have thrown their support behind a new series of local events aimed at getting disabled people involved in sport.
It is hoped that the programme will help increase interest and participation in activities lead by the nation's sports governing bodies, National Sports Organisations and disability sport bodies.
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) also hopes it will give them the opportunity to discover talent that could move into a pathway focused on developing future Paralympians.
The events are due to begin on October 21 at the AUT Millennium in Auckland, with the second event scheduled to take place at the Avantidrome in Cambridge on November 5.
A third event at Cowles Stadium in Christchurch is due to be held on February 18.
Participants will have a chance to meet New Zealand’s Paralympians, try various sports and talk to a number organisations about opportunities available to them.
This follows New Zealand’s most successful Paralympic Games at Rio 2016, securing 21 medals, including nine golds, to finish 13th overall - their highest ever position.
"We had an exceptional Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, but this kind of success does not happen overnight," said Malcolm Humm, high performance director at PNZ.
"We begin every four-year cycle at this point.
"The open days will have two objectives: firstly, to help disabled people discover the joy of local community sport and secondly, to find those that display strong competitive potential."
Pascoe, winner of five medals, including three gold, at Rio 2016, became New Zealand’s most decorated Paralympian with 15 in total and will attend the first open day in Auckland.
"The success that the team had in Rio really brought Para-Sport into the mainstream for the first time and we saw so much amazing support from New Zealanders," said Pascoe.
"If through that we can inspire other disabled kiwis to come along to these Open Days, try Para-sport and maybe go all the way to a future Paralympic Games, that would be huge for all the athletes that have paved the way."