Our people really do make a better world.

Otago Polytechnic graduate Holly Robinson not only won a gold medal in the women’s javelin F46 competition at the Tokyo Paralympics 10 days ago, but her generous gesture after the victory earned her the Visa Global Fan Award.

After her win, Holly made a point of thanking every official associated with the event.

That gesture won her the Visa Award – meaning she now has US$50,000 (NZ$70,035) to donate to a charity of her choice (she has yet to decide).

Holly’s Tokyo gold followed that of Anna Grimaldi – another Otago Polytechnic graduate and Dunedin athlete – who won the long jump T47 final a few days earlier.

Holly, who won silver at the 2016 Rio Paralympics and silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, has always been “sporty”. Her earliest memory is playing rugby with her twin brother in Hokitika when she was three years old.

At the age of 12, she “decided to start getting serious about something” and focused on javelin throwing and, at 16, was offered a scholarship to train with a Paralympic coach in Dunedin. In 2012 she represented New Zealand at the London Paralympics. 

The year 2012 was also Holly’s last of school.

“I had no clue what I wanted to do, so I looked at the Bachelor of Applied Science degree at Otago Polytechnic. It was a practical and applied qualification, and I liked that. It’s sort of the way I learn.”

Read more about our Bachelor of Applied Science


Published on 13 Sep 2021

Orderdate: 13 Sep 2021
Expiry: 13 Sep 2023