MONTREAL- On Thursday, November 16, 12 teams from leading Canadian businesses assembled at McGill University to compete in the inaugural ParaTough Cup Montreal. Each team participated in five different sport challenges to test their athleticism and fitness with the goal of becoming the reigning ParaTough Cup champions.
The event was an overwhelming success with more than 93,000 $ raised to support future Paralympic champions.
Proceeds will go towards the Paralympic Foundation of Canada’s goal of ensuring that the programs, equipment and people are in place to propel more Canadians with a disability all the way from their communities to to the Paralympic podium.
Canadian Paralympians played a large role in the event’s success as team coaches, sport station instructors and cheerleaders.
Paralympic veterans Cindy Ouellet and Benoit Huot were both key contributors to the ParaTough Cup. Ouellet helped participants shoot three-pointers and dribble around opponents at the wheelchair basketball station and Huot was the event’s Master of Ceremonies.
‘’When I was young I didn’t know about the Paralympics,’’ said Ouellet. ‘’That’s why it’s important to have events like this so people can gain knowledge about our sports and see how challenging they are.’’
Other national team athletes attending included
· Sitting volleyball player Chantal Beauchesne who showed participants how to maneuver and serve aces at the sitting volleyball station.
· Para athletics wheelchair racer Alexandre Dupont who helped out at the athletics station, where participants competed in a guided run as well as a wheelchair sprint challenge.
· Marc Dorion, a former member of Canada’s Para ice hockey team, who gave pointers to participants in his sport as they tried to score points by hitting targets in the net.
· Para-swimmer Aurélie Rivard, wheelchair fencer Pierre Mainville, Para alpine skier Caroline Viau and Para cyclist Charles Moreau who worked as a coaches.
“This is a real eye-opener for the participants,’’ said Moreau. ‘’They learn that theses are high performance sports that have a different level in degree of difficulty from your regular sports.’’
Hudson’s Bay Company was the winner. In second place was the team representing Maroline and the Montreal Canadiens organisation was third. Pfizer Canada Inc. entered four teams while other entries were Petro-Canada, Bell, Fasken Martineau, ATPI and ICU Medical.
‘’To win is a bonus for us, we came here primarily to help raise funds and give some our employees a great experience,’’ said Serge Coursol vice president Hudson’s Bay Canada. ‘’It was great team bonding for us and I really encourage all companies to participate at the ParaTough Cups in the future.’’