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Raylene has been involved in athletics for 50 years as a competitor, administrator, official and coach, in both voluntary and paid roles. This has included working with children to masters, with roles across national and international levels. Bates has led the NZ Athletics Olympic and Paralympic teams to 5 Olympics and Paralympics, along with numerous World Championship and Commonwealth Games.
Her most successful team was the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games with 8 athletes winning nine medals, achieving four Paralympic and 11 national records. Bates coached 4 of the athletes, bringing home 3 medals. Bates has been credited for helping to increase opportunities for Para athletes and integrating Para athletics nationally and internationally. She is a World Athletics Level 5 coach and World Para Athletics Coach Facilitator.