Pascal has become an inspiration to through his determination and courage in the face of adversity.  It is because of this that all facing similar challenges will be helped in their recovery because of a significant project by Papeete-Tahiti Rotary.
Two years ago, Pascal Tuiho a Polynesian blue-collar worker of the Papeete Naval Base, was seriously injured in an accident at home. The sixth vertebra broken, he became quadriplegic. Supported by his family his close friends and the naval Base crew, he has battled not only to reach back his employment, but also to rediscover the joy of the practice of water sports which he has always liked so much. Scuba-diver, oarsman, highly skilled mechanic, he has neither wanted to fail nor give up. Pascal has impressed his medical team by his will to recover the use of its limbs.
In 2017, with the support of the association Cape Marara which develops the double oar boat for anybody with reduced mobility, he prepared himself to take part in the event “Row with Alexandra” This event was where Rame avec Alexandra, a young girl suffering from cystic fibrosis and a double lung transplant made the crossing between Tahiti and Moorea to give a message of hope to other young people facing similar challenges.
Papeete-Tahiti Rotary, which supports and co-organised the operation “Row with Alexandra” met with Pascal then and the club decided to support him in purchasing adapted oars. This meeting moved the Club committee members. Unfortunately, Pascal was unable take part in this event for medical and administrative reasons.  
Undeterred the club promised that as soon as he would be able and allowed to do so, an event would be organized for him. “Oar with Pascal” was developed and programmed for 2018 to be a part of the canoe race “Admiral’s Trophy”, fitting because this is an event run by the Armed forces of French Polynesia, thus marking a strong support to Pascal who has worked for so long for the benefit of the Papeete naval base.  This race typically attracts entrants of 160 canoes
This event took place on a fine, sunny Saturday 2 June 2018.  Pascal opened the race, rowing with 20 canoes a distance of approximately 25 kms.  The publicity surrounding his achievement and support has been generous, yet Pascal does not want the spotlight to be him as he sees himself as an ambassador of the community of people with reduced mobility.   In addition to his support canoes there was a support motorboat flying two large Rotary flags.  The support team were all easily identified by their Rotary shirts specially made for the occasion.
Supporting Pascal in his participation in the Admiral’s Trophy has been only part of a much wider commitment by Papeete-Tahiti Rotary to develop and expand the facilities and support needed to get more disabled people into rowing.  This is because there is a lack of resources and access to sport for people with disabilities in French Polynesia and sport is a great way for them to gain control of their bodies and renew their motivation and energy for life in general given the adversity they face.    
To this end, Papeete-Tahiti Rotary continues with a crowdfunding initiative via the crowdfunding platform C.Reva to raise funds for the equipment and facilities needed for disabled people to enjoy Multi-Sport boating activities.  The first item for which funds are being raised is a “gallows” – a bracket that can swing people from their wheelchair and into the boat, an action almost impossible otherwise.  In removing this barrier more disabled people will be more willing to give this boating a try.  After this it is hoped to provide sanitation facilities at the dock side and equipment that will help disabled people recover their strength in preparation to enjoying these on-water activities.  This preparation is important as illustrated by Pascal’s early recovery story as told by Matthew Forge, his coach, physiotherapist and friend:  “Pascal had to learn to float, to swim, snorkel.  He had to learn to get out of a difficult situation alone.  He then had to remuscle his arms on a rowing machine indoors before going on the water to get back the feeling of the sea.”
There are many for whom this project will be a huge help in their rehabilitation and in building their confidence as they rebuild their lives.  Papeete-Tahiti Rotary invites others, including Rotary clubs in District 9920 and elsewhere, to support this valuable project.  Please support other young people like Pascal by contacting the club or visiting the webpage at (English translation button top right).  There are eight stages to the fundraising - there are approximately 72 French Pacific Francs to the NZD.
The picture on the left is an example of the hoist/bracket.