Athletes in action: Paralympic Schools Week in full swing coast-to-coast

April 26, 2017

It’s on! All this week, Canadian Paralympic athletes are on the move and sharing their stories with students across the country, encouraging them to keep active and learn about the Paralympic movement.

From swimmer Elisabeth Walker-Young visiting Captain James Cook Elementary School in Vancouver, B.C., to thrower Pamela LeJean visiting Millwood Elementary School in Middle Sackville, N.S. - and many schools in between - a total of 16 Paralympians will be visiting 34 schools or community centres.

In Whitby, Ont. earlier today, Para ice hockey player and PyeongChang 2018 Chef de Mission Todd Nicholson spoke to about 100 elementary school students and shared his journey in sport. Following his talk, he joined the kids for some wheelchair basketball and hockey on roller sledges in the gym. Nicholson spoke about surrounding yourself with supportive people to help accomplish your goals.

“Realizing the path may not be a straight line, there may be obstacles, forks in the road,” Nicholson said. “We all have those as athletes and as individuals. Today, I’m really hoping that the kids get the opportunity to play a Paralympic sport and see that it is possible. They’re not used to doing these types of activities, but with a little bit of practice and a little bit of time, you can figure out how to do it. Paralympic sport is for everybody at the grassroots level.”

“Playing wheelchair basketball with Todd was pretty fun,” said Ryan Graham, 12, of Whitby. "He was a lot faster than most of us. "I think it was good that he had a goal as a little kid to be a hockey player and I still think it’s good after his accident that he’s doing what he’s doing.”

Along with the Paralympic athlete visits taking place this week, all schools are also invited to access free curriculum resources including the Fundamental Movement Skills resource for Grades 2 to 6 (education.paralympic.ca) and the Paralympic Lesson Plans for Grades 1 to 8 (paralympic.ca/activity-plans).

For more information, please visit Paralympic.ca/schoolsweek.