CP Football team nominated for Santiago 2023 Canadian Parapan Am Team

Canadian Paralympic Committee

October 23, 2023

Fourteen athletes to represent Canada at Parapan Am Games, November 17-26 in Chile


OTTAWA – Fourteen athletes have been nominated to Canada’s CP Football team for the Santiago 2023 Parapan Am Games, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Canada Soccer announced Tuesday.       

Santiago 2023 Canadian Parapan Am Team – CP FOOTBALL  

  1. Silviu Butnaru – St. Catharines, ON
  2. Samuel Charron – Ottawa, ON
  3. Dante Del Cul – Kitchener, ON
  4. Sam Denton – Southwold, ON
  5. Christopher Fawcett – Kingston, ON
  6. Cuauhtemoc Flores – Ajax, ON
  7. Diego Gilbert – Toronto, ON
  8. Nicholas Heffernan – London, ON
  9. Dustin Hodgson – Vancouver, BC
  10. Raji Kamoun – Montreal, QC
  11. Duncan McDonald – Powell River, BC
  12. Isaiah Smeaton-Katzenberg – Etobicoke, ON
  13. Ryan Watson – Montreal, QC
  14. Daniel White – Kitchener, ON

CP Football was added back to the Parapan Am program in 2015 after having not been contested since 2007. In Canada’s last appearance in the sport, at the Toronto 2015 Games, the squad was fourth.

“As a team, our last Parapan American Games was in 2015 on home soil, and it was an amazing experience,” said team captain Sam Charron. “Being able to not only compete for Canada but to see other Para athletes compete is something I haven’t seen in person since Toronto. I hope to cause an upset or two like we did in the past and have the support from other athletes as well. It will be nice to catch up with former teammates and other Canadian athletes.”

Charron is one of three athletes with Parapan Am experience, alongside Nicholas Heffernan and Dustin Hodgson. All three were part of the 2015 team, while Hodgson also competed at the 2007 Parapan Am Games where Canada captured bronze.

“One of the biggest achievements in anyone’s sporting career is to have a chance to represent their country at a big international sporting event,” said Hodgson. “For me, every year I strive to get the chance to be one of the lucky few that are chosen with the honour of putting the Canada jersey on. I am proud to represent Canada for the third time in the Parapan Am Games, a tournament where Canada had its first major success in this sport.

“As the only remaining player from the 2007 bronze medal winning team, I am going into these Games with the focus and determination to achieve a higher result then we have ever done before; at the very least replicate our success in 2007.”

At the 2022 Men’s World Cup, Canada finished ninth. The team is currently No. 9 in the International Federation of CP Football men’s team world rankings, and fourth in the Americas behind Brazil, USA, and Argentina.

“It’s an honour to be selected for this year’s Parapan Am squad,” said Ryan Watson. “We missed out on Lima in 2019 because we couldn’t qualify and ever since we have been playing with the goal of making the comeback, so to have accomplished it means the world. 

“This will be my first Parapan Am Games experience and although we have our work cut out for us to fight for a medal, I think I can speak for the entire team when saying that coming home without one would be a disappointment. That’s our goal, to leave Santiago with a medal around our necks and to come back home with a medal for Canada.”

CP Football, also known as 7-a-side football, will take place November 18-25 in Santiago. The sport, for athletes who have cerebral palsy or acquired brain injuries, was part of the Paralympic Games from 1984 to 2016, and is not currently on the Paralympic program.

“Congratulations to all 14 members of Canada’s CP Football team on your nomination to the Parapan Am Games,” said Josh Vander Vies, co-chef de mission, Santiago 2023 Canadian Parapan Am Team. “We haven’t had a team at the Parapan Am Games since 2015, and this is a huge opportunity for them to compete on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to supporting the entire squad in Santiago.”

“I am so thrilled to welcome each and every nominated CP Football athlete to the team,” said Karolina Wisniewska. “With CP Football not currently on the Paralympic program, the Parapan Am Games is going to be an incredible occasion to showcase the sport and what these athletes can do. As an athlete with cerebral palsy myself, I cannot wait to witness the sport in person. The competition is going to be fierce and so exciting, and I’ll be cheering the team on.”

The Santiago 2023 Parapan Am Games will take place November 17-26, 2023 in Santiago, Chile. Canada is expecting to send a team of approximately 140 athletes.

Prior to being officially named to the Canadian Parapan Am Team, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

The current list of athletes nominated to the team can be found HERE. The approved final roster will be announced closer to the start of the Games.

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