Mascot designs to cheer on the New Zealand team at the Tokyo Paralympic Games

The Asia New Zealand Foundation and Paralympics New Zealand have unveiled the winning entries in a mascot competition designed to help celebrate Kiwi Para athletes competing in Tokyo.

The designs will be showcased on the walls of the New Zealand Paralympic Team’s base at the Paralympic Athlete Village in Tokyo. The Paralympic Games run from 24 August to 5 September.

In the lead-up to the Toyko 2020 Paralympic Games, students were given the opportunity to design a Paralympic-themed mascot as part of a teaching resource created in partnership by Paralympics New Zealand and the Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono.

They were challenged to create a mascot which could represent the New Zealand Paralympic Team in the future. While the winning designs are not the official mascots for the Paralympic Games or Paralympics New Zealand, the competition was an opportunity for students to demonstrate their artistic and creative talents while learning about the Paralympics and Japan.

The winners are:

  • Year 7-8: Inaaya Shaikh (Ming Ming) Somerville Intermediate, Auckland
  • Year 9-10: Ivan Aldrich Obillo (Shiba) Roncalli College, Timaru

The Foundation was delighted to receive entries from across the country: Auckland, Gisborne, Golden Bay, Invercargill, Ōmokoroa, Tauranga, Timaru and Wellington. 

The judges included Japanese Ambassador to New Zealand Koichi Ito; teacher at Greenpark school and Asia New Zealand Foundation education programme “Champion” Lynne Mossop; and Paralympian and mouth painter Grant Sharman.

The judges were impressed with the overall quality and creativity of the entries. In particular, they noted students had put a lot of thought and consideration into their designs and stories to represent all the different elements such as the Paralympics, Japan and New Zealand.

“The competition provided a unique opportunity for students to learn more about Japan and Para athletes through the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games,” education adviser Yasheeka Bertram says.

“The mascot design competition connects to the Foundation’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games teaching resource, created in collaboration with Paralympics New Zealand. The resource encourages students to learn about Japan, Para sports and New Zealand Para athletes and develops their disability awareness.

“These resources form part of the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s education programme, which aims to provide New Zealand educators with the knowledge, resources and experiences to equip New Zealanders to thrive in Asia.”

About the winning entries:

Inaaya Shaikh (Ming Ming)

This design represents New Zealand spirit through the use of the flag, the kiwi, and the silver fern. The Paralympics are represented by the three agitos and the wheelchair. The Japanese element is shown through the use of three carefully placed cherry blossoms, one on the kiwi’s head, another in the centre of the wheel and the last one on the mat. Inaaya was the only entrant to include a mask in the design. The judges felt this was an important element which sets the Tokyo 2020 Games apart from previous Games.

Ivan Aldrich Obillo (Shiba)

Ivan’s design is a strong symbol of sport and strength. Shiba has two prosthetic legs and proudly wears a New Zealand uniform with the silver fern. He depicts the Japanese flag on a hachimaki (traditional Japanese headband) which is synonymous with sporting culture in Japan. Shiba inu is also a dog breed specific to Japan. The artwork in this design is impressive and of an artistic quality.



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For more information about the Asia New Zealand Foundation:

Media contact:

Rebecca Palmer, Asia New Zealand Foundation

M 64 27 226 8707