James has been with Renaissance for just over 5 years. When he first began he did not anticipate that he was on a journey that would lead to Abu Dhabi.
James was a rather shy guy, not one for the limelight. He says having Supported Living in place helped him gain confidence in social situations. His experiences coupled along-side his friendly and sociable nature have helped him overcome his shyness, to a place where he is well positioned and equipped to reach out to others. While still not an attention seeker, the development in his confidence allows him to fulfil his public speaking opportunities and manage his responsibilities with style.
James started in the Special Olympics as a competitive swimmer, winning gold medals at National Championships. He went through training and became a Global Messenger for Special Olympics and now travels the country speaking to schools, sports clubs, and community organisations. His presentation is entertaining and informative. His sense of humour and well-spoken, helpful manner might make one think this had always been natural for him.
About 2 years ago, James started competing in Powerlifting. He trained hard, while still maintaining his job 5 days a week, and was recently selected to represent New Zealand at the 2019 World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi. He says, “Waiting to see if I’d made it was very hard. I just spent the time training hard, to distract myself.” He is still training hard and is involved in competitions in the time leading up to his trip.
James says, “I am very excited about representing my country.”