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Inspiring future young New Zealanders with the legacy of Sir John Walker

15 September 2017

Over 40 years after Sir John Walker’s iconic gold medal win in the 1500m at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, a statue will be cast in bronze to serve as an inspiration to the young people of New Zealand.

The life-size tribute will be set in the Manurewa town centre, Sir John’s home town, and is planned to be completed in March or April 2018.

The project has been initiated by the Sir John Walker Legacy Trust and has been several years in the making. Over $150,000 has been raised by the trust with contributions coming from private, commercial and philanthropic organisations. The Wilberforce Foundation has been proud to support this initiative and is passionate about supporting young people who are triumphing over adversity.

“The story of Sir John Walker’s achievement has long been an inspiration to me”, says Wilberforce co-founder Ian Kuperus. “The humble but absolute dedication to success is a testament to his character and is something that I’ve always admired. Sir John came from very modest circumstances, but with passion and a huge amount of hard work, he went on to achieve such an amazing feat. A powerful example for us all.”

The statue will be created by sculptor Joanne Sullivan and will depict Walker crossing the finish line with his arms raised.

In the words of Sir John, it is hoped that the statue will be ‘a legacy for others, and when they look at the statue, they [young people] can say to each other, if he can do it, so can I.'

Media articles on the launch announcement can be viewed below: