News & Updates

9 August 2023 • Para Athletics

Raylene Bates to serve as Paris 2024 Paralympic Games Chef de Mission

Athletics NZ Para Athletes Lead Coach Raylene Bates (right) has been appointed Chef de Mission for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) has appointed Athletics New Zealand High Performance Programme Para Lead and coach Raylene Bates MNZM as Chef de Mission for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Bates, who has provided strategic and operational leadership for Para athletics in New Zealand since 2014, is thrilled to be appointed as Chef de Mission and said: “Paris 2024 is shaping up to be a truly memorable Paralympics for New Zealand. I can’t wait to lead a performance-focused and inspirational New Zealand Paralympic Team.

“It’s a role I’ve dreamt of holding for a long time. It’s such a privilege. The Chef de Mission sets the tone for the team, and that means I can help to ensure a positive and supportive environment and team culture. That in turn allows Para athletes, coaches and support staff to focus entirely on achieving their high performance goals.”

Dunedin-based Bates has been awarded countless honours including appointed Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2017. The coach to reigning Paralympic javelin F46 champion Holly Robinson serves on several HPSNZ advisory groups.

The Paris 2024 Paralympic Games (28 August to 8 September 2024) will see 4400 of the world’s pre-eminent Para athletes converge on the city. The programme includes 22 sports and 549 events. Following the motto “Games Wide Open,” organisers have reinvented the template for a Games Opening Ceremony by organising a showstopping celebration away from the traditional stadium setting – right in the heart of Paris between Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Élysées.

PNZ Games Campaign and Sports Manager Lynette Grace will serve as Deputy Chef de Mission, a role she also held at Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022. The appointment of the two highly experienced women leaders shows PNZ’s continued focus on women in sport leadership.

Paralympic Team selection announcements are expected to begin in April 2024.

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