2016 Paralympic Summer Games from September 7-18

From September 7-18 Brazil will host the XXV Paralympic Summer Games. This year 162 athletes will compete at the Games for Team Canada including (bullets courtesy of the Ontario Government):

  • Priscilla Gagné, a Sarnia judoka who won silver at the 2015 Parapan Am Games.
  • Whitney Bogart, a 2015 Parapan Am Games Goalball gold medalist from Thunder Bay.
  • Melanie Hawtin, Ontario’s lightning-fast wheelchair basketball player from Oakville who won silver with Team Canada at the 2015 Parapan Am Games.
  • Jason Dunkerley, the Ottawa runner who is the current Canadian record holder for the T11 800m, 1500m and 5000m.

In total there will be 4,350 athletes from more than 161 countries, and a refugee team competing in 22 sports at the XXV Paralympic Summer Games. CBC will be providing full coverage of the Games, which includes ample opportunities for viewers to stream competitions.

The Opening Ceremony begins tomorrow, September 7 at 6:30 PM with wheelchair basketball veteran David Eng as Team Canada’s Paralympic flag-bearer. This will be an incredible chance to see a variety of sports that rarely make it onto television such as wheelchair tennis, archery, athletics, boccia, cycling, equestrian, football 5-a-side, football 7-a-side, goalball, paracanoe, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball!!!!

In an interview with CBC, Chantal Peticlerc – Team Canada’s Chef de Mission, appointee to the Senate of Canada and winner of 21 Paralympic medals – recently said (and I couldn’t agree more):

The level of inspiration that Canadians and kids with disability or older people with disability can get from our athletes and the Paralympic Games is amazing. . . It inspires because it proves that it can be done … That always touches me. It’s tough for a parent of a child with disabilities, because you want them to push their limits and you want them to believe anything is possible. So they can see the Paralympic Games with all the disabilities. You’ve got visually impaired people on a bike going 100 kilometres an hour. It’s a very, very powerful human message.

Football 7-A-Side 2014 America Cup: September 19-26 In Toronto

I wrote about Football 7-A-Side on this site before (for a refresher go here), which is a team sport that has mostly been played by athletes with cerebral palsy. The game features a smaller pitch, no off-side law, and throw-ins being made by rolling the ball into the field of play using only one hand. Teams consist of seven athletes.

Football 7-a-side is a Paralympic Sport and athletes can participate at local, regional, national and international competitions. Players can be qualified to be part of their national team and compete at the Summer Paralympic Games. (Information about Football 7-A-Side is taken from CPISRA (Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association) which funds and hosts Football-7-A-Side tournaments in partnership with local, national, and international associations).

The 2014 America Cup, which is a qualification tournament for ParaPanAm 2015 and World Championships 2015, is being hosted in Toronto from September 19 to September 26 with games being played at the University of Toronto St. George Campus: Pan Am Fields. Tickets are ridiculously cheap: $5 a day or $25 for all 11 matches!

For the schedule and more information visit the tournament webpage. Support this awesome sport and the athletes who play it by attending a few matches and spreading the word.

ParaSport Ontario and Football-7-A-Side

ParaSport Ontario is a not-for profit organization that “affiliates a variety of ParaSport Clubs and more than 1800 athletes (inclusive of OALASA, OBSA, OCPSA, and OWSA) on a yearly basis. These athletes are given the opportunity to compete in Regional and Provincial Level competitions. PO works in collaboration with Host Communities and 12 Provincial Multi-Sport Organizations and Provincial Sport Organizations in delivering Summer and Winter Multi-ParaSport Games as well as ParaSport Expos” (http://www.parasportontario.ca/About/WhoWeAre.aspx).

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