Page back
BUCKINGHAM Dan
Sport Para athletics, Wheelchair Rugby
NPC New Zealand   
GenderMen
Age40
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
T52
Further Personal Information
Family
Partner Samantha Jukes
Residence
Auckland, NZL
Occupation
Athlete, Public Speaker, Television Production
Languages
English
Higher education
Communications - University of Canterbury: New Zealand
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in wheelchair rugby at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. (Attitude Youtube Channel, 08 Sep 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"When there's something in the world that's bigger than yourself and you do it, there's great satisfaction." (stuff.co.nz, 06 Aug 2014)
Other sports
He competed in wheelchair rugby at the Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008, winning gold at the 2004 Games in Athens. He also won silver at the world championships in 2006. (Attitude Youtube Channel, 08 Sep 2016; SportsDeskOnline, 01 Mar 2019)
Impairment
At age 18 he broke his neck in a rugby scrum, fracturing his sixth and seventh vertebrae. (paralympicsnz.org.nz, 08 Oct 2012; stuff.co.nz, 06 Aug 2014)
Other information
MEDIA ACTIVITIES
When the New Zealand wheelchair rugby team failed to qualify for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, he worked as a commentator in London for the IPC and New Zealand television. He has also worked as a producer and presenter for the New Zealand TV programme 'Attitude', including at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi and the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Attitude Youtube Channel, 08 Sep 2016; attitudepictures.com, 10 Oct 2012)

WHEELCHAIR RUGBY BACKGROUND
He says he felt immediately drawn to wheelchair rugby after being introduced to the game by a nurse, who told him most of the guys who play were also former able-bodied rugby players. "I instantly felt a connection to the people that played this sport. as I was nearing the end of my rehab, I went along to watch the New Zealand team, the 'Wheel Blacks', train. Initially I was impressed by the speed with which they seemingly glided around the court and also the power with which they hit each other. The fact that they were tetraplegics with only about 10 to 20 percent of the muscles working made it all the more impressive. At the end of training they let me have a go in one of their chairs and from then it was all on. I began playing and training with the Canterbury side. By 2001 I was a part of the Wheel Blacks [New Zealand national team]." (paralympicsnz.org.nz, 10 Oct 2012)

MARATHON MAN
He was among 30 athletes from New Zealand to compete in the 2017 New York Marathon as a way to raise money for the CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust. He also competed in the half marathon AT the 2018 Auckland Marathon for the same cause. (stuff.co.nz, 03 Nov 2017; nzherald.co.nz, 31 Oct 2017; scoop.co.nz, 19 Oct 2018)

FURTHER STUDIES
He has also studied a certificate in fitness management and sport science at University of Otago in New Zealand, and attended two years at the Australian Film Television and Radio School. (LinkedIn profile, 01 Nov 2016)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships - Wheelchair Rugby
Rank Year Event Result
2 2006 Team  
9 2010 Team  
8 2014 Team  
Paralympic Qualification Tournament - Wheelchair Rugby
Rank Year Event Result
4 2016 Team