Lazy Sneakers New Zealand
Commonwealth Point of Light 177. Maia Mariner
Maia Mariner, representing New Zealand, is the founder of ‘Lazy Sneakers’, an NGO that collects and redistributes reusable sneakers for free, to increase access to sports for young people.
Maia came up with the idea when she was 12 years old after seeing how some of her peers could not participate in sports because they did not have the appropriate footwear. She launched ‘Lazy Sneakers’ a year later in 2018, which has since enabled over 2,000 young people to participate in sports across New Zealand.
“I am extremely humbled and honoured to have received this award from HM The Queen. To know that our project is being acknowledged in this way means so much to me, my whanau, our team of volunteers and the communities that have supported our work – thank you to HM The Queen for naming Lazy Sneakers as Commonwealth Points of Light.”
Laura Clarke OBE, British High Commissioner to New Zealand, said:
“I’m delighted to award Maia Mariner with the Commonwealth Points of Light award. She’s a truly inspiring young woman and her work through Lazy Sneakers is making a real difference to children who may not have had the opportunity to participate in sport or play had they not had Maia’s help. Ngā mihi nui, Maia – congratulations for all you’ve done in your community.”
Picture credit: Qiane Matata-Sipu