Ten minutes with Paralympian Fraser Sharp

by | May 19, 2021 | Interviews | 0 comments

This Kiwi cycling legend spoke to us about making cycling safer in Aotearoa, how to stay motivated, and the highlights of his career ahead of his pitch for a medal at the Tokyo Paralympics later this year.

Tauranga local Fraser Sharp was knocked off his bike while training in 2003. He woke up from a coma 30 days later with multiple fractures and irreparable front lobe brain damage. Despite having to learn to walk again and facing numerous hurdles, Fraser took the ball into his court and set about getting his life back on track. 

Since then, he’s completed two Ironman New Zealand events, and an Ironman event held in France. He’s also represented New Zealand at the Paralympics, winning a bronze medal in 2017. 

Fraser Sharp

Safer Cycling Foundation: You were injured while cycling. How did this impact your determination to continue in the sport?

Fraser Sharp: I was lucky I was fit and determined when it happened. Waking from a month in a coma blocked out a lot. The accident made my even more determined. Anything is possible. Sport has been my lifesaver.

SCF: What would you say to a young/aspiring cyclist about the sport?

FS: Wear a helmet, give it your best. Rome wasn’t built in a day so start small and build on it. Ask someone knowledgeable to help you. Enjoy whatever you are doing.

SCF: What do you think we need to improve on in New Zealand to make cycling safer?

FS: Motorists need to be respectful to cyclists but at the same time cyclists need to be respectful to motorists. Our justice system needs to be tougher on motorists that break the rules.

SCF: How did you start in cycling?

FS: I have always been a sportsman, from swimming competently at a young age to triathlons. I was never a runner though. I had an enthusiastic and supportive cycling coach at school. 

SCF: What is it you love about the sport, and what drives you?

FS: To be out in the fresh air with the wind in my face. It’s good for the environment and my body so I can be the best I can be. 

SCF: What are some of the highlights of your career?

FS: Competing in the Rio Paralympics even though I wasn’t at my best. The Barfoot & Thompson Master World Champs, reaching the podium in the 2017 Para World Cup and following that up with a 2nd a week later in Belgium with my dad there to witness it. 

SCF: Anything else you’d like to add?

FS: Ride to survive, be seen as a cyclist and respect and acknowledge good drivers. I’d also like to thank all those who have supported me and helped me to get where I am, especially my parents.


Cycling Conversations: Eric de Freitas

Cycling Conversations: Eric de Freitas

We spoke to former competitive cyclist Eric de Freitas about safer cycling, changing mindsets, sustainability, and his love of the sport. In one sentence, tell us why you ride. It makes me feel alive and more connected with nature and the elements. When did you first...


Top 4 New Zealand Cycle Trails to Ride this Summer

Top 4 New Zealand Cycle Trails to Ride this Summer

With border restrictions still in place due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, there’s never been a better time to get out and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of New Zealand. And what better way to see the country, than on a bike? With so many awe-inspiring trails to...

Avoiding Collisions on the Road

Avoiding Collisions on the Road

Do you know what the most common collisions are between bikes and vehicles? If not, have a read. It might surprise you – there are 10 common collisions that involve a high percentage of incidents on the roads. We’ll share one with you each week for the next 10 weeks...

Basic hand signals for first-time cyclists

Basic hand signals for first-time cyclists

Being confident riding on the road means being aware of what’s going on at all times, looking ahead, being visible to other road users and having the confidence to make quick decisions. Here are some tips for first-time cyclists.1. Hand signals must be used at least...

How to choose a bike helmet

How to choose a bike helmet

A helmet is an absolutely essential piece of gear when you are riding a bike, not only because it is illegal not to wear one, but because it could save your life if you are in an accident.  Helmets come in three basic styles; street style, road and mountain. Different...

Top tips for sharing the road with cyclists

Top tips for sharing the road with cyclists

1. Take special care and slow down when passing. They may need to move unexpectedly and not have an opportunity to signal their intentions.2. Indicate clearly Indicate clearly and in plenty of time when turning and stopping.3. Know your blind spots  Know your blind...

Follow Us


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *