Elisabeth Walker-Young 

Elisabeth is one of the MC’s for Connection 2021 and played a big role in the planning for this event.  She is a retired Canadian Paralympic swimmer, was the Assistant Chef de Mission at the 2012 Paralympic Games and the Chef de Mission for the 2015 Parapan American Games.  Elisabeth received an Order of Canada in 2018 because of her work within the Paralympic movement.  In 2014, Elisabeth was inducted in the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.  She lives in North Vancouver and is the proud mother of Isla.  Elisabeth currently works at the Rick Hansen Foundation as a Program Manager, Accessibility Certification.  

Headshot Image, shoulder up, looking to the side in Red Team Canada T-shirt

Camille Chai 

Passionate about human contact and meeting people, Camille Chai is a TV and radio host, as well as a graduate and lecturer of the Centre de Relation d’aide de Montréal.

Born without a left arm and leg, she has overcome a wide range of challenges. She encourages people to accept their differences and feel good about themselves. 
Camille holds the title of Pan American Paralympic Fencing Champion 2018.
A lifelong ambassador for The War Amps, she has been involved in many disability awareness projects and this dedication has earned her the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.

Headshot, wearing black shirt facing camera

Tania Silletta, R/TRO 
Bloom Therapeutic Recreation & Fitness 
Workshop Co-Facilitator 

With over 20 years of experience in the field of sport and inclusion, Tania has since completed her Bachelor's degree with specialization in Therapeutic Recreation from Concordia University in 2010.  Along with a variety of other coaching, sports and fitness certifications, Tania has since gained over great experience in guiding individuals of all abilities, bodies, ages and life experiences reach their health goals and therefore enhancing their overall quality of life by offering accessible and inclusive fitness and recreation opportunities to all. She has experienced with various populations, from older adults living in long term care facilities to grassroots para-sport programs, to pediatrics palliative care as well as serving families in community-based resource centers.  

More recently a Therapeutic Recreation entrepreneur, Tania founded a private practice, Bloom Therapeutic Recreation & Fitness inc., in 2018 out of passion for inclusion and accessibility in sports and recreation.  Bloom currently serves a variety of populations such as older adults, post-stroke patients, youth and adults living with acquired brain injuries (ABI) and intellectual disabilities as well as developmental delays while consulting in TR development and leisure education for the general public and various non-profit and community organizations. Tania has been a Faculty member at Algonquin College school of apllied arts and technology in the Therapeutic Recreation  graduate certificate program, and was selected for the Minister's Award of Excellence for her innovative practice and work in the program in 2020. In her spare time, Tania enjoys gardening, time in nature, practicing yoga, researching and learning about plants, exploring new creative outlets and playing board games with her young children. 

Tania is a white woman with long curled brown hair; she is wearing a blue top with a silver necklace.

Caroline Acoca, RT  
Bloom Therapeutic Recreation & Fitness 
Workshop Co-Facilitator & Movement Break Leader 
 

Caroline is an accomplished national level Power-lifting athlete who obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Applied Human Science with a Specialization in Therapeutic Recreation from Concordia University. Throughout her degree, Caroline has experienced working with older adults, individuals living with acquired and developmental disabilities, by supporting them, planning and implementing proper adaptations and leisure opportunities that improved their quality of life. Her innate ability to create unique resources for her clients, along with her passion for evidence-based practice and holistic well-being have lead her to become an essential part of the team at Bloom Therapeutic Recreation & Fitness since 2020.  

She currently is involved in a great number of community projects with Bloom, while also working part-time as a Recreation Therapist at the McGill University Health Centre - Lachine Hospital in Montreal. On her personal leisure time, she enjoys training for her sport, reading books and practising yoga as often as possible.  

Caroline has long dark blonde hair and is holding a weight bar on her back shoulders while looking down at the ground.

Michelle Amy Simpson , R/RTO 
Bloom Therapeutic Recreation & Fitness 
Featured in Pre-Recorded Exercise Videos
 

Michelle graduated from York University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and later completed a post-graduate certificate in Therapeutic Recreation from Georgian College. Michelle has always had a passion for supporting inclusive recreation and has nearly 20 years of experience providing recreation-based programming to children, teens and adults with a wide variety of (dis)Abilities. She is a certified Chair One Fitness Instructor, certified waterski instructor (National Coaching Certification Program), and certified DROM (Drum Fitness) practitioner.  

Michelle has completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training with additional training in adapted yoga practise. Her kind, genuine approach make her teaching style accessible and welcoming to anyone. She values her own diverse recreation experiences in life and is passionate about providing meaningful opportunities for others. ON her own time, Michelle enjoys cooking, baking, sewing, yoga, dragon boat, running, hiking, crafting, photography, camping and trying/learning new things! 

Alt Text for Photo: Michelle is a white woman with piercings in both ears and her bottom lip. She is smiling at the camera.

Dr. Shaunna Taylor 

Shaunna is the past Chair of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association and is currently a Professor at the University of British Columbia in the High Performance Coaching and Technical Leadership program. 

She is dedicated to holistic athlete and coach development through her work as the Executive Director of Pacific Sport Okanagan in British Columbia, and she sits on viaSport BC’s Safe Sport sub-committee as well as the Girls and Women Advisory Group. Shaunna was also a past member of the International Paralympic Committee’s Women In Sport Committee.  

Shaunna has been consulting with coaches and athletes from grassroots to the Olympic/Paralympic level for 20 years, involved in athlete and integrated team support for over 8 Major Games cycles, including 4 Paralympic Games.  She operates a private practice and is a practitioner with the Canadian Centre for Mental Health in Sport. Shaunna has a special interest in creating a sport system that promotes holistic athlete development and enables athletes to reach their full potential in and beyond sport. 

Shaunna earned her doctoral degree in Human Kinetics (Sport Psychology) from the University of Ottawa, and is a certified counsellor.

Headshot, shoulders and up, long light brown hair draping over her shoulder