GIVE IT A GO!


"Give it a Go" 2017


New Plymouth 2017 was my second time attending the Amputee Federation National Conference, but my first time at Give it a Go. And what a time it was! Being able to spend a whole weekend with a group of young people who just 'got it' was an incredible and priceless experience. 15 young people of different ages, from different places and backgrounds, all with the shared experience of being an amputee.  We cheered each other on as we each tackled the rock climbing wall. We celebrated as each of us conquered our fears on the high ropes. We counted down as one by one we took a leap of faith, backwards, off a bridge.  I had no excuse not to participate in any of the activities. No one had any excuses... because we all faced the same challenges. No one was left behind. This was a new and exciting experience for me. Usually I am the odd one out, the one who needs extra consideration because of my impairment. But not this time.  When I think of the new friendships I formed and the old friendships that were strengthened, I think of a bunch of brilliant, empowered, confident and outgoing young people. Amputees who are leaders within their families, their whanau and their work places. We laughed, we cried, we shared, we grew and we gave it a go.  I can't wait to give it another go next year
Robbie Francis

This was my first year attending this event and I was excited if not a little nervous.  I had nothing to worry about as it was very well organised and I was looked after the moment I stepped off the plane.  Meeting other amputees in my age group and even one of them lives in the same town as me that I had no idea about, was amazing.  To be able to give it a go on activities that I would not normally even attempt to do was something I will never forget.  Normally if I was to partake in activities I would be the only one in the group to have a disability, so at GIAG it was good to not even have to think about how I was going to adapt to the situation or activity.  As a group we all supported each other and I now have a network of support/friends that I will be keeping in touch with. Thanks!
Brooke Donaldson

23 years I've had my artificial leg, and it was only because of GIAG that I was able to meet an amazing group of people that were just like me, and in the same age group. I'm not able to express how good that felt. But enduring challenging tasks that able bodied people struggle with, and seeing new found friends able to do it, gave me such a new found confidence and view that if you could do it, there's no way I can't. Just staying at the hotel where you'd walk around the corner and bump into an amputee built my confidence and helped me feel comfortable in my skin. I can't wait for next year and the many years to come. GIAG brought out a passion for me to want to get involved.
Danielle Neeson-Morgan

This was my 3rd year taking part in Give it a Go, but this year I helped organize/run the event. I can't thank the sponsorship enough for allowing this event to happen.  Amputees, new and old to GIAG, took part in this year's activities. It included rock climbing, high rope course and a bridge swing. The activities throughout the day were brilliant. All of us were faced with challenges when trying to complete these activities.  No matter how difficult it was for us, we gave all three of these activities a go.  It was amazing to see us all work together as a group and to help everyone out.  All of us face challenges every day living as an amputee.  We mostly face these challenges by ourselves as people around us can only imagine what it would be like living with an amputation.  With GIAG, we faced challenges together as a group.  We helped, supported and encouraged each other with these challenges that were given to us. Only another amputee can completely understand what challenges an amputee faces everyday.  Because of GIAG it has allowed us to meet amazing amputees from around the country.  I have met some amazing people because of it. The best thing about being an amputee is being involved with GIAG.
Matt Bryson

 

"Give it a Go" 2016

This was my second year of taking part in GIAG. What a fantastic weekend it was!  The first year for me was a little difficult for me because I was still coming to terms what had happened to me. Meeting old faces again and new faces made the experience something special. On one of the obstacle courses, I was stuck. I was about 10 meters up in the air. I didn't want to fall. I wanted to complete the course but I had used up all my energy, I had no more inside of me. I was sweating. Ahead of me was my amputee mate encouraging me. He gave me the encouragement I needed to soldier on.  It made me realize even when life gets tough, you can still move forward with guidance and determination.
Thank you GIAG for making this happen. Thank you GIAG for bringing us together from all over NZ.
There are two things I have found great with losing a limb.
1. GIAG
2. Disabled parking.
Thanks for making this happen.
Matt Bryson

 
This was my 4th GIAG event. I always enjoy getting together with people like me who are missing limbs, we always get along and have heaps to talk about. It's great chatting about our problems we have in everyday life and how we can overcome them. I really enjoy the activities as its amazing to show the world what we can really do! Meeting everyone at these events has to be the best part so I thank all of the people who make this event possible as it can really help people come to terms with an amputation and learn how to embrace it and not hide it!
Anna Grimaldi
 
GIAG is always a weekend to look forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, no matter what the activities are or which town we all have a great weekend away with lots of laughs and great memories to take home with us. Thankyou to everyone who helps this weekend happen.
Abby Morse
 
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to attend the conference. Was an absolute eye opening and life changing experience, that I would love to be a part of in the future if given the chance. To be honest, I enjoyed everything about the weekend. Meeting both young and old amputees and hearing their stories and how they coped with their amputation and how well they are doing. Was the first time I had attended the conference and being the new one in the group I felt that they included me in everything and I got to know them pretty well. It has changed me immensely as an individual. Seeing what others can do or have done with their amputation just pushes me to the same and more. I am very thankful to all involved in making this event take place. Thank you very much.
Thomas Cross
 
This years GIAG held in Christchurch was filled with fun and challenging activities including horse riding, jet boating and climbing through the trees at adrenaline forest. My favourite activitywas the high wire course at adrenaline forest as I had never done anything like it before, it challenged me to overcome my fears of heights and being able to see others do things they thought they would never be able to do was really cool.. During the GIAG weekend I was able to reconnect with some old friends as well as make new ones. Being given the opportunity to be around other likeminded individuals to share experiences is one thing that I highly value through the GIAG weekend, being able to share your experiences and problems with others that have been through similar circumstances is pretty cool. Every year that I have gone to the GIAG weekend I have enjoyed it and made many new friends, including this year.
Holly Robinson
 
This GIAG in Christchurch was so much fun. Meeting new people to talk about our own life experiences, new and exciting activities - it was amazing. The activities were incredible. The horse riding was very cool. They are so big but gorgeous. The jet boat riding was my favourite - it went so fast and was fantastic. The adventure course was very scary and challenging. I'm stoked that I tried it and completed the first level. If I hadn't gone to GIAG I would never get to experience these kinds of wonderful activities. It's very nice to meet new people, catch up with old friends and have lots of fun. Such a one in a life time opportunity - so Thank you so much.
Rosanna Paine

"Give it a Go" 2015

 

Another amazing weekend, where we kayaked, rock climbed and white water rafted. We had a total of 17 attend - see below for a couple of personal accounts.

I would like to thank all the sponsors for funding another amazing GIAG event this year – the support we receive that enables us to extend ourselves and socialise with other young amputees is very much appreciated by us all.  It was great catching up with friends from previous conferences, and was so cool to be able to welcome new amputees or amputees new to GIAG. Everyone became more confident over the course of the weekend, and it was awesome to see newcomers do things that they hadn’t even imagined were possible for them anymore. I loved being able to go kayaking, rock climbing and rafting – activities that we all have to adapt in some way for – and not feel like the odd one out. We were all in it together, and that’s what makes GIAG so special. I fully support this event and appreciate being a part of it – I can’t wait for next year’s GIAG! 
Claudia Teague

To the sponsors, 

Thank you very much for sponsoring the Amputee organisation in allowing me to attend the Amputee camp. This was my first amputee weekend. I have only had my new leg for about eight months. I had a wonderful time in Wellington. It was awesome to meet other amputees and exchange stories, facts and make new friends. I thoroughly enjoyed kayaking, rock climbing and white water rafting. It was a new experience with my new leg.  My favourite was the white water rafting. It was a new experience. It was really fun going down the rapids and getting tipped out of the rafts by each other. We had beautiful weather when we were rafting and the views going down the river were really pretty. The Amora hotel was really flash. The rooms were wonderful and the beds were really huge and comfortable. I found the weekend to be fantastic time. I absolutely loved meeting new people from both the camp and the conference. It was cool listening to their stories and to learn from them. It was very informative also to listen to the companies who make different legs and to see what's new and what's coming up in the future. The guest speaker was marvellous. I really enjoyed listening to him and to see what he has accomplished. Overall it was a terrific weekend, one I will remember for a long time. As a new amputee it was eye opening to see other people and to hear their own stories. I want to thank you so very much for donating and sponsoring so I could attend. I am so grateful for this experience.  It was a wonderful weekend. 
Rosanna Paine

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"Give it a Go" 2014

Nelson was the venue in 2014 when 17 young people took to quad bikes,  skywire flying, horse trekking and volleyball.  Comments on Facebook pages included:

I have never laughed so much as I did that weekend;
Seated volleyball... I think it may be the funniest sport I have ever played;
Had an awesome time with some awesome people, can’t wait till next year;
Met some really great people and was awesome being around others like me, learnt some new ways to do things and learnt to overcome some fears;
So great to hang out with my own kind and meet some wicked new friends;
Words cannot explain how awesome the GIAG conference was, met so many inspirational people!

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"Give it a Go" 2013

Wellington was the venue for 2013 and 17 youths took part in kayaking, rafting and rock climbing.  Here is what two of the girls had to say....

Attending the give it a go 2013 was such a fun experience; I met some great people and did some great activities. I had never been to Wellington and to go for this weekend was amazing, the rafting was definitely my favourite activity as I had never done anything like that before. Although there was a lack of flowing water in some places we still had a great time watching and pushing people off the boats.   What I really liked about this weekend was getting to know some people with similar problems as me and find out different ways of getting around tough tasks. Thank you to Chris and everyone else who made this weekend possible I had the best time - Anna

The 'Give it a Go' group was even better this year with about double the amount of people, adding to the fun we all had!  I really enjoyed the rafting this year, as I missed out last year, but I now know why all the others were raving about it- we all had a great time plotting how to push others out of their rafts, although we had to wait for appropriate times as the water was often quite shallow with many rocks due to the drought. It was great to talk with everyone, whether their experience was similar to yours or not, and I genuinely had a good time, making friends from all over the country. It was also really nice to just be with people who understand that it takes a little time to put a limb back on after rafting without it for a couple of hours. Overall, 'Give it a Go' was a huge success and I look forward to next year in Nelson! - Claudia

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"Give it a Go" 2012

In conjunction with the National Conference in Napier, nine youths took part in activities over the weekend, consisting of rafting on the Mohaka River, horse trekking, sailing and rock climbing.  They also joined in with the main conference at the opening on Friday evening and dinner on the Saturday evening. Here is what some of them had to say...

The youth event is truly fun- we young amputees really know how to have a good time - Claudia

I found the Youth Weekend in Napier very enjoyable. I enjoyed the rafting most of all, this is something I have wanted to do for a long time but since my accident, I have been too nervous to try.The Youth weekend, helped me realise that even though I have lost a limb and some activities might prove more difficult, if you don't try them you won't know what you are able to achieve. Even with a disability the enjoyment of getting out and doing these activities is great. I highly recommend everyone gives it a go - Tony

My favourite part about the Youth Weekend was the river rafting because it was really fun and challenging and a good time to get to know the rest of the people on the raft. I learnt that horse riding can be fun when you are doing it in a group and that it is not just for girls - Tyler

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If you are interested in being part of GIAG, please email Claudia Teague claudia.fc.teague@gmail.com or Matt Bryson mattbrysongg@gmail.com

 

 

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