MONTREAL – It was a record day at ParaTough Cup, the primary fundraiser of the Paralympic Foundation of Canada, with a one-day high of $167,000 raised for Para sport at all levels on Thursday.
The second ParaTough Cup of the 2023-24 season attracted a sellout 16 teams from nine organizations. Each team, which committed at least $5,000 to enter, battled for the ParaTough Cup title by competing in three Para sports: sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and Para ice hockey. Additional points were awarded for fundraising.
Fasken Corporate Law took the title with Le Collectif/The Collective second and Les Bâtisseurs/The Builders third.
Pfizer, the presenting sponsor of the Montreal event, entered four teams while Groupe Mach and Fasken each entered three teams. Also participating were EllisDon, Toyota Canada, Bell, and Banque Nationale.
‘’We’ve been with the Canadian Paralympic Committee for 27 years and it’s important for us because this was our first example of making a difference in inclusion and diversity,’’ said Vincent Lamoureux, Director Global Health and Social Impact at Pfizer. ‘’Today, that impact is more important than ever. An event like this allows our own colleagues to experience what it is to live with differences.’’
“It’s important to give to the community and encourage people with a disability to participate in sport,” added François Brais, Partner, Fasken. ‘’It’s also great for organizations like ours in developing team spirit. Every year our participants can’t get over how hard and demanding these Para sports are.”
A handful of high-level Para athletes were on hand at the event to help the participants with the sports. They included world champion Para cyclist Mel Pemble, her teammate Mike Sametz, Paralympic Games judo medallist Priscilla Gagné, Rob Armstrong of the men’s Para ice hockey team, wheelchair racing Paralympian Alexandre Dupont, and national wheelchair rugby team member Mélanie Labelle.
‘’Along with the fundraising, there’s a huge education piece that’s happening,” said Pemble, tuning up for the Parapan Am Games which start next week in Santiago. “The CPC sponsors here are learning about what they are supporting and seeing there’s a big monetary barrier in Para sport with all the specialized equipment.”
The next ParaTough Cup is March 7, 2024 in Calgary.