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Success is your choice

Posted by Open Polytechnic , 11 October 2016 · 1809 views

Distnace study Open Polytechnic rugby Inspiring people
Success is your choice Life isn’t easy, neither is studying

Most people reading this will know who Richie McCaw is. For those that don’t he is ex All Black captain who has brought home a couple of Rugby World cups, flies helicopters in his spare time and has a beautiful wife-to-be who is one of our Black Sticks hockey players, Gemma. Amongst other successes most would say that Richie has done alright for himself. Rugby has provided him with a platform on which to excel and with a lot of specialists and support behind the scenes he has become the legend of the rugby game that he is.

Through my daily life I have come to know a bloke who is in a wheel chair. Apart from the wheel chair, if you were to stand Richie and him together they would be relatively similar. About the same age, same build, both love rugby, kiwi blokes going about their lives. The difference here for them as that being in a wheel chair was the result of a ruck gone wrong. A rugby game, a ruck – wheel chair for life. Same game, same love for the sport, same enjoyment, same beers after the game – completely different cards dealt.

It’s hard to comprehend.

Both men though are a success in their own right. You would think that the bloke in the wheel chair wouldn’t be so keen on the old game of rugby these days considering what it took from him. He travels to most All Black games, he followed them to the World Cup and travelled around Europe in a camper with his mates going to the games and his love of the sport remains. He has gone on to successfully launch his own business and do what he is extremely good at to make a living. I admire him for this and his strength to carry on. I’m not sure I would have been able to do the same.

I asked him once about ‘that game’, as a Mum with a boy whose rugby mad, I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit of a worry. He simply said ‘You’ve just got to live your life.’

I think of this often. If you are out there reading this and thinking about studying, despite the fact you have a disability and it might be hard, it probably will be but it shouldn’t be enough to stop you achieving your goals and living your life.

If you are in the midst of studying with a disability you are an example to all and you should be incredibly proud, carry on and don’t let it stop you or dominate what people say you can and can’t do.

I went to the All Blacks game down in Wellington against Wales a month or so back. It was epic. The Wellington crowd were behind Ardie, it was just amazing being in that stadium and being a part of it. I don’t know if my friend in the wheel chair was at the game, although I suspect he was – and was thankful he was there to experience it. It’s not something you would have wanted to miss, from the captain on the middle of the field to the fans at the park.

Success is what you chose to make it. Live your life.

The Open Polytechnic offers support for students who may be managing a disability, health condition, mental illness or specific learning need. For more information, visit

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This blog post was written by Lana. She fits her study in around two young children and part-time employment in the banking industry. Lana is working her way towards a Bachelor of Business at Open Polytechnic.

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