Defying odds in the Coast to Coast as first female amputee competitor

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jan 23, 2024 |

Photo: Supplied

Shaz Dagg, affectionately known as “Limb-it-less Shaz” is poised to set a historic record as the first female amputee to complete the grueling Kathmandu Coast to Coast race solo.

Shaz, who is New Zealand’s first elite para-triathlete, is not just participating for her own achievement but is also using this opportunity to raise funds for Kidney Kids NZ.

The challenge ahead for Shaz is daunting.

As an amputee with only one arm and one kidney, her determination and positive outlook are nothing short of extraordinary.

This journey is a continuation of her remarkable resilience, first showcased after a farm accident in December 2016 led to the amputation of her left arm below the elbow two years later.

Unbowed, Shaz has been a trailblazer in sports, even kayaking the length of Lake Taupo as the first amputee to do so.

Shaz’s first foray into the Kathmandu Coast to Coast was in 2021, where she tackled the 70km kayak section with a support person in a tandem kayak.

This year, however, marks a significant change, as she has been granted permission to paddle solo, accompanied only by a support person in a separate kayak.

This challenge is heightened by her use of a custom-designed socket for cycling and a 3D-printed kayak adaptation, a pioneering approach that’s a first worldwide.

Photo: Supplied

“My biggest concern is how I will manage in the kayak with the constant nerve-ending pain with ‘Stumpy’. I don’t know if I’ll be able to achieve it, but I won’t know unless I try,” Shaz shares candidly. “I love the challenge of figuring out how I will do something. I might only have one wing, but I can still fly!”

Apart from her athletic pursuits, Shaz is a motivational speaker who fervently believes in transforming negatives into positives and constantly pushing her limits. Her participation in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast epitomizes a journey of endurance, adventure, and overcoming formidable challenges.

Race Director Glen Currie said “with the right mindset and determination, anything is possible. Shaz’s participation is a powerful reminder that the essence of the Kathmandu Coast to Coast knows no bounds, and her story inspires us all to overcome obstacles in pursuit of our goals.”

Shaz’s undertaking is not only a personal triumph but also serves as an inspiration to others, especially those facing challenges.

The 42nd Edition of the Kathmandu Coast to Coast, scheduled for February 9th and 10th, 2024, will be a pivotal moment for Shaz as she aims to become the first female amputee to finish the event as an individual.

To support her journey and contribute to her cause, donations can be made through her fundraising page at

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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