chariot - a type of carriage using horses to provide rapid motive power

To ensure all young people with physical disabilities in New Zealand are fully engaged in sport, there is an urgent need to drive change in how sport is currently delivered to them.  The chariot is the symbol we have chosen to represent this change, with the young people in the driver's seat.  No longer must the young people miss out on the amazing benefits that regular and meaningful sports contribute to their lives.  "Rapid motive power" is needed so they come of the benches and onto the playing court/field.  Not tomorrow, but today. 

our history

The Chariot Project (formerly known as Parents for Young Disabled Athletes) was set up in late 2012 by two parents of children with disabilities, Sandra Hickey and Lise Baldwin.  The purpose was to provide regular and meaningful sports for young people who have a physical disability in response to the lack of regular sporting opportunities for them.

The catalyst for The Chariot Project was the growing despair felt by many young athletes with a physical disability and their families who had attended numerous one off "have-a-go" days or short-lived programmes, where they had begun to develop a passion for sport, only for it to disappear.   Programmes that did continue were often bolted on to existing able bodied groups or delivered as part of a modified adult programme.  Frequently the social and medical context of youth with a disability were ignored despite good intentions of sports providers.  It became apparent that in order to create positive and lasting outcomes for these young athletes a different approach was required. Thus The Chariot Project was born. 

Sandra and Lise have over 30 years combined experience in the area of disability; a life-long participation in sports;  and bring expertise in the areas of health and wellness, social justice, education, child protection, advocacy and sports club development.   They are fully committed to improving the quality of life and providing better health and well-being outcomes of all young people with physical disabilities through sport. The current focus is Auckland but hopefully in the future it will be New Zealand wide. 


our values

  • The young people are at the heart of everything we do
  • Every young person regardless of their ability can be involved in sport
  • Access to sports is not enough, full engagement is required
  • The parent's voice is crucial
  • The child's voice is vital
  • Disability sport cannot be side-lined within mainstream provision
  • Quality, integrity, and safety in everything we do


our goals

  • Deliver regular, ongoing and meaningful sports programmes
  • Provide competitive sports leagues 
  • Ensure that all volunteers and coaches have the necessary skills to train and support young athletes
  • Reduce barriers to sports engagement for young people and their families 
  • Work with other sporting providers to ensure the delivery of disability-specific sport is successful 


rights of children with disabilities

At The Chariot Project we support New Zealand's international legal obligation "to ensure that persons (children/young people) with disabilities have an opportunity to organise, develop and participate in disability specific sporting and recreational activities and, to this end, encourage the provision, on an equal basis with others, of appropriate instruction, training and resources" (UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 30: 5b. 2008)

Te tiriti o waitangi

The Chariot Project acknowledges Te Tiriti O Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa.  Our practices and procedures reflect our commitment to the principles of The Treaty of Waitangi and the rights of Maori as tangata whenua.