(July 14, 2015 – OTTAWA, ONT.) -- The Canadian Blind Sports Association (CBSA) is pleased to announce the athletes nominated to represent Canada at the 2015 Parapan Am Games for men’s and women’s goalball.
Both teams feature a mix of veterans and newcomers, all eager to help Canada obtain a qualifying berth for their team at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
On the men’s team, veteran players Bruno Haché (Dorval, Que.), Brendan Gaulin (Laval, Que.), and Ahmad Zeividavi (Vancouver) will ensure the team’s ability to score more goals than they let in. Aron Ghebreyohannes (Calgary) Blair Nesbitt (Stony Plain, Alta.), and Simon Richard (Dieppe, N.B.) will add a huge youth factor to the team and add some needed replacement in scoring and defense.
“We feel that the men’s team which is nominated fulfills both short-term and long-term goals for the CBSA,” stated Danny Snow (Calgary), head coach of the men’s team. “Short-term, our goal is to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games; long-term, our goal is to be a podium potential team for the next two Paralympic Games.”
The veteran players on the women’s team - Amy Burk (Charlottetown), Whitney Bogart (Ottawa), Cassandra Orgeles (Fort Erie, Ont.), Ashlie Andrews (Penticton, B.C.), and Jillian MacSween (Halifax) are vying for a berth in the gold medal final. Tiana Knight (Calgary) adds to the defense of the team and will allow the coaches to move the players around more than in the past.
“I whole-heartedly support the teams nominated, and feel that both the men and the women have a great chance to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games,” said Shane Esau (Calgary), high performance director for Canadian Blind Sports. “These teams combine both great defensive skills with exceptional offensive skills.”
The men’s team finished fourth at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico while the women’s team took home the bronze medal. The women are coming off of a bronze medal win at the recent 2015 IBSA World Games in Seoul this past May where the men finished out of the medals.
“Your commitment and drive got you here,” said Chef de Mission Elisabeth Walker-Young. “I have no doubt that you will meet your objectives at the Games. It’s great we have so many returning players with the team. That experience will be a key to our success.”
“My heartfelt congratulations to the members named today to the Canadian Goalball Team for the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. Canada is a leading sport nation, and I, along with all Canadians, recognize the dedication of our athletes as they train toward this prestigious event during the Year of Sport in Canada,” said The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport).
Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games tickets are currently on sale. The Parapan goalball competition will take place at the Mississauga Sports Centre in Mississauga from August 8 – 15. Tickets are available online at TORONTO2015.org/tickets.
With a goal of finishing in the top three nations in the total medal count, Canada is expected to send approximately 220 athletes to the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games from August 7 to 15. Qualification is ongoing and the full team will be officially announced in July 2015.
- Brendan Gaulin, Laval, Que.*
- Aron Ghebreyohannes, Calgary, Alta.
- Bruno Hache, Dorval, Que.*
- Blair Nesbitt, Stony Plain, Alta.
- Simon Richard, Dieppe, N.B.
- Ahmad Zeividavi, Vancouver, B.C.*
Head Coach: Danny Snow, Calgary, Alta.
Assistant Coach: Darren Hamilton, Calgary, Alta.
- Ashlie Andrews, Penticton, B.C.*
- Whitney Bogart, Marathon, Ont.*
- Amy Burk, Charlottetown, P.E.I.*
- Tiana Knight, Calgary, Alta.
- Jillian MacSween, Halifax, N.S.*
- Cassandra Orgeles, Fort Erie, Ont.*
Co-coach: Trent Farebrother, Castor, Alta.
Co-coach: Nathalie Séguin, Quebec City, Que.
*Denotes past Parapan American Games experience
About the Canadian Blind Sports Association
The Canadian Blind Sport Association is the national sport governing body for Goalball in Canada and recognizing that most of its members (the provincial/territorial associations) are multi-sport organizations, provides support for all Canadians who are blind/visually impaired to be involved in a range of sports. The Canadian Blind Sport Association supports the concepts behind Canadian Sport for Life, the Long-term Athlete Development model and is fully committed to the development of athletes and other participants from Active Start through to Active for Life. For more information visit www.canadianblindsports.ca
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca
For more information, please contact:
Director of Domestic Programs
Canadian Blind Sports Association
Canadian Paralympic Committee
(613) 569-4333 x237