'You can't outrun your problems': Paralympian Liam Malone's moving message to dairy farmers

Liam Malone hopes to inspire dairy farmers with his story.
Liam Malone hopes to inspire dairy farmers with his story. Photo credit: Newshub

Former Paralympic blade runner Liam Malone is to share how he overcame adversity,  in an effort to inspire dairy farmers who may be struggling.

The double-amputee is among speakers at the South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) in June.

The two-day event is run by farmers for farmers, with support from DairyNZ, with the theme for this year "Creating Our Tomorrow."

Malone, who was born with fibular hemimelia, is no stranger to overcoming adversity.

As a teenager, he suffered anxiety and depression and admits he made some bad choices.

However after the death of his mother he said he decided to take control of his life, and just three years later won two gold medals at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Liam Malone won two gold medals at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Liam Malone won two gold medals at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Photo credit: Getty

"I realised you can't outrun your problems, you need to face them," he said.

He believes his story can help farmers.

"While the dairy sector has done a good job facing its challenges over the last decade, there continue to be more, and understandably this has taken a toll on some farmers," said Malone

"I hope to provide them with tools to help them be more resilient."

Malone likened the journey dairy farmers are on to that of a marathon, not a sprint. 

He said while the changes are coming fast, they are constant, and farmers need to be prepared to stay the distance.

"I'm sure at times farmers feel as though they're in a race to meet all these new regulations and consumer expectations coming at them thick and fast and that the finish line seems a long way off."

"While I've never worked in the dairy sector, I can relate to what they're going through. But they've put in the training and they're off the starting blocks and that's half the battle."

SIDE event chairman Simon Topham said the first day of the event will focus on "Celebrating Today", while the second day will look at "Investing in Tomorrow".

"This year's SIDE is all about celebrating farmers sheer grit and drive to constantly do better by their people, cows and environment," he said.

Aside from Malone, the other keynote speakers are All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka, business leader Sue Lindsay, and Golden Bay YOLO (you only live once) Farmer and blogger Wayne Langford.

The SIDE event is being held at the ILT Stadium in Invercargill on the 25th and 26th of June.

Newshub.

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