SAULT ACCESSIBLE SPORTS COUNCIL
Everyone Welcome To Attend Free Accessible Sports Show
Sault Ste Marie Accessible Sports Council to officially be launched
In the fall of 2009, Sault Ste Marie launched its first structured sport council whose aim is to create sporting activities for our city’s disabled.
On Sunday May 9th, from noon until four, at the John Rhodes Centre the newly formed Sault Accessible Sports Council, in partnership with ParaSport Ontario, will be showcasing a variety of sports that are played by for people with physical disabilities. Some of these are currently available to play in Sault Ste Marie, while others will be developed as the council evolves. It is the goal of this council to foster the development of a large scale sports program, both competitive and recreational, for people in our community that possess a disability.
Both of the Rhodes Centre’s ice pads will be utilized for this event. The first, containing ice, will be used to demonstrate sledge hockey and wheelchair curling. The general public is encouraged to join in and try out some of the equipment. The second arena, with the ice removed, will contain a wheelchair basketball demonstration with the remainder set up, trade show style, with many local sporting displays. Local vendors, organizations and existing sports groups will be on hand to share what is possible in accessible sport and answer questions.
Don Calvert, the council’s chairman, was injured in an auto accident six years ago and is now a paraplegic. “Coming from a strong athletic background, I was shocked that our municipality offered very limited sporting opportunities for the local disabled community,” Calvert said. “With ParaSport Ontario’s help, we have started this council which is the first step to ensure that, just because someone has a disability, it does not mean that they cannot participate in sports.”
The Sault Accessible Sport Council has partnered with Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, our local Accessibility Advisory Committee, Algoma University, and ParaSport Ontario to put this show together.
At the show, the Sault Accessible Sport Council will be presented with a $2500 start-up grant from ParaSport Ontario. The grant, provided though bi-lateral funding from Sport Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion via its Active 2010 – Sport for More program, will be used to create a program of sustainable sporting activities for all our cities disabled.
ParaSport Ontario is a non-profit, provincial sport organization that delivers programs and provides competitive opportunities to its member organizations. A proud member of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the organization’s mission is to provide parallel opportunities in sport for athletes with a physical disability.
This “Ready, Willing, and Able” show will also have elite athletes on hand to demonstrate how these sports are played. Paralympian Steve Daniel, from Sudbury, Ontario, will be coming to town to show attendees his talents and address any questions in reference to accessible sport.
The Sault Accessible Sport Council would like to invite the general public to join them this coming Sunday afternoon, at the John Rhodes Centre and see what is possible in the world of accessible sport.