By Emily Goddard

Marguerite Christophers is now Paralympics New Zealand's full-time classification manager ©PNZParalympics New Zealand (PNZ) has named Marguerite Christophers as its full-time classification manager.

The National Paralympic Committee announced the appointment has been made following dramatic growth in the country's high performance programme since London 2012, with athletics, cycling and swimming now having more than 158 athletes at varying levels of development.

Christophers has more than 16 years' experience in the disability sport sector and had already been operating in the role at PNZ on a part time basis for the past five-years, while also leading the International Triathlon Union's classification programme globally.

She will now lead the re-development of New Zealand's classification strategy, alongside all 22 member sports for the nation's Para-athletes, as well as training classifiers and developing new educational resources and online tools.

"Paralympics New Zealand is delighted to see one of our own, Marguerite Christophers, step up into the full-time position of classification manager," Fiona Allan, the PNZ chief executive, said.

"Since London 2012 the PNZ high performance programme has grown quickly and it is imperative that the PNZ classification programme supports the PNZ high performance programme and provides the leadership to Para-sport to deliver gold medal success at Rio 2016 and beyond.

"Marguerite is well recognised and very respected both nationally and internationally as an expert in classification.

"We were thrilled to finally conclude that we already had the very best person available to support New Zealand Para-athletes."

Athletics, cycling and swimming now have more than 158 athletes at varying levels of development ©Getty ImagesAthletics, cycling and swimming now have more than 158 athletes at varying levels of development ©Getty Images

Christophers, who is due to start the new role in January next year, was excited about her appointment to the position.

"I have a lifelong interest and commitment to ensuring the lives of disabled New Zealanders are enhanced through participation and success in sport," she added.

"I feel privileged to have the opportunity to help shape the future growth of Paralympic sport in New Zealand and lead the classification strategy as we head into the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
November 2014: 
Paralympics New Zealand holds workshops to train future Parasport classifiers
October 2010: 
Paratriathlon appoints head of classification to help Rio 2016 bid