It is estimated only three percent of Canadians with a disability participate in sport. They could be among the most impacted by 2015 being the Year of Sport in Canada. Awareness will be raised about the health benefits sport provides and the power of sport in enhancing the lives of Canadians.
Canada is a leading sport nation. The Year of Sport will celebrate the role that sport plays in our country and will encourage all Canadians to participate and seek the benefits of sport. It is hoped that participation among Canadians with a disability will rise significantly.
The benefit of sport for Canadians with a disability is no more prevalent than with our para-athletes. They criss-cross the globe to compete and are tireless ambassadors for people with a disability at home and abroad. In 2015, there’ll be numerous opportunities to see our Parapan and Paralympic stars on home soil and be directly influenced by their dedication, determination and excellence.
July 7-15, Parapan American Games, Toronto
The biggest platform for Canadian athletes with a disability in 2015 is the Parapan American Games. More than 1,600 athletes from 28 countries will compete in 15 sports. Most of Canada’s biggest parasport stars are expected to compete with qualification for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games on the line.
One of the ways you can get into the spirit of the Games is by participating in the Pan Am and Parapan Am torch relays which will be held in selected cities. For more information visit: www.to2015.org.
Tickets for the Pan American Games are now available and tickets for the Parapan Ams go on sale in the spring.
Other major parasport events in Canada in 2015
- January 17-19: para-snowboard World Cup, Big White, B.C.: a major tune-up for the world championships held a month later in Spain.
- February 1-7: World Sledge Hockey Challenge, Leduc, Alta.: a preview of the world championships set for early spring in Buffalo. The top-three nations at the 2014 Paralympics - USA, Russia, Canada- and South Korea will battle for gold.
- February 13-March 1: Canada Winter Games, Prince George, B.C.: wheelchair basketball, para-alpine and para-nordic are official sports at these Games.
- February 28-March 10: para-alpine, world championships, Panorama, B.C.: teenage phenom Mac Marcoux, a Sochi 2014 gold medallist, and veteran Chris Williamson lead a powerful Canadian team.
- April 24-May 2: sledge hockey, world championships, Buffalo, New York: not in Canada but a short drive for fans in the Toronto-Hamilton area. Canada is the defending champion.
- April 27-May 3: Défi Sportif, Montreal : an annual event since 1984, the Défi Sportif is expected to gather more than 5,000 athletes with a disability in 14 sports at various levels. High performance events are also on the program including in para-cycling, wheelchair fencing and wheelchair rugby.
International parasport event highlights for 2015
- January 25-February 1: para-nordic, world championships, Cable, Wisconsin
- February 6-13: wheelchair curling, world championships, Lohja, Finland
- February 23-28: para-snowboard, world championships, La Molina, Spain
- March 26-29: para-cycling, world track championships, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands
- April 26: marathon wheelchair racing, world championships, London.
- May 8-18: IBSA World Games and World Championships for the visually impaired, Seoul
- July 13-19: para-swimming, world championships, Glasgow, Scotland
- July 28-August 2: para-cycling, world road championships, Nottwil, Switzerland
- October 22-31: athletics, world championships, Doha, Qatar
National Flag of Canada
If you have a chance to attend these events, don’t forget to bring you Canadian flag. The year 2015 is also the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada.