Grant Sharman

Tetraplegic, recently named Aucklander of the Year 2005, foot and mouth artist, paralympic rugby coach and amazing achiever despite his handicaps.

In 1980 GRant was approached by an amazing man, Bruce Hopkins, who could only move his head. Despite this apparently enormous disability he had an incredible presence. Bruce suggested that he try painting and proceeded to show him how to paint with a brush in his mouth. His first efforts were terrible but he insisted he keep trying. In 1981 Grant received a small scholarship from the AMFPA and in 1988 was made a full member. His artwork has given him the ability to earn a good income, which in turn means independence and a greater quality of life. He has travelled to many parts of the world and met many wonderful people. Before his accident playing rugby at the age of fifteen, Grant wanted to be a pilot. The idea of being a professional artist never entered his mind. Because of this he likes to paint many different subjects including landscapes, still life, Christmas scenes and flowers as he gets a thrill out of creating a painting that captures the subject matter in a realistic form. He paints mainly in acrylics now though he has used oil and water colour in the past. He still has the first two paintings he did with his mouth and they hang in his art studio. They are a reminder of where he has come from in terms of his art as well as proof that anything is possible if you never give up. With every painting he produces that is successful, he is left feeling really great! That feeling is only equalled by the comments of other people who like his work – what better job satisfaction can you get. Sports career highlights: First representing NZ at 1995 World Cup in Switzerland - bronze First captaining NZ at 1996 Atlanta Paralympics - bronze 1998 World Cup in Toronto – silver and selected as best 1.0 pointer Playing in front of 10,000 people at 2000 Sydney Paralympics - bronze Coach of Wheel Blacks to 2004 Athens Paralympics - gold Other Achievements: Success at Toastmasters NZ : National finalist, prepared speech section 1991 Winner, National Impromptu Speech Contest 1994 Coached the Wheel Blacks to a World Championship in 2006, following their winning gold at the 2004 Athens Paralympics. Public Speaking/ Media Experience: Good Morning, News, Holmes, Breakfast. Short documentaries, Jim’s Car Show, Disability programme. Newspaper and radio interviews. Numerous public speaking engagements to both large and small audiences. Consultant for the new television series produced by Robin Scott-Vincent dealing with disability issues on a Sunday morning, including sports reporting. International Player Record
• Competed in the first New Zealand team at the Inaugural Australian Nationals in 1991. (Bronze)
• Played in first official test, New Zealand versus Australia 1995. (won 36-30)
• Member of the Wheel Blacks team World Championships in Switzerland in 1995. (Bronze medal)
• Captain of the Wheel Blacks during the Test Series in Australia in 1996. (Series won 3-2)
• Captain of the Wheel Blacks to the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996. (Bronze medal)
• Captain of the Wheel Blacks to the World Championships in Toronto 1998. (Silver medal)
• Named as best 1.0 point player of the tournament and all-star team.
• Captain of the Wheel Blacks to the Sydney Paralympics in 2000. (Bronze medal) International Coaching Record
• Second at Oceania 2003, Chiba City Japan
• Won Chris Handy Cup 2003, Christchurch NZ
• Won World Wheelchair Games with Team Kea 2003, Christchurch NZ
• Won Coloplast International 2004, Tampa USA
• Won Demolition Derby 2004, Birmingham, USA
• Third Super Series 2004, Sydney Australia
• Lost Chris Handy Cup 2004, Cairns Australia
• Won Gold Athens Paralympics 2004, Greece
• Manager & Coach 2008 Wheelchair Rugby Beijing Olympics