OTTAWA – The Canadian Paralympic Committee will be searching for promising Para athletes in the Okanagan region this month as Paralympian Search heads to Kelowna on Saturday November 30.
Aimed at testing participant aptitudes in various sports and introducing more people to Para sport opportunities, Paralympian Search looks to discover athletes with high development potential. Co-hosted alongside Pacific Sport Okanagan and Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, the one-day event will take place at Central Sports Club and welcome all athletes ages 14 and up with a physical or visual disability.
Wheelchair tennis player Rob Shaw, a Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games hopeful, will be in attendance as the event’s ambassador to share his own story in sport and offer valuable guidance and advice to the participants. Shaw recently made Canadian tennis history by capturing a gold medal at the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games. Originally from North Bay, Ont., Shaw is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan and makes Kelowna his home base.
“I’m really looking forward to being part of Paralympian Search and helping others to become involved in Para sport,” said Shaw. “There is so much value in participating in sport both physically and mentally, and I definitely encourage anyone with a disability in the area to come out to discover all the amazing opportunities out there. Paralympian Search is the perfect way to try sport and challenge yourself in a safe, inviting, and fun environment.”
Participants will go through a series of physical challenges such as obstacle courses and sport try-its, learning more about the different sports available and in which ones they may have the most potential to compete. Representatives from different national and regional sport organizations will be on hand to view the testing and answer any questions. All participants will receive information on how to access sport opportunities at all levels.
Several athletes from recent Paralympian Search events have already gone on to compete on the national and international levels. For example, two Paralympian Search athletes participated at world championships this past year – Garrett Riley (Montreal 2017) in Para ice hockey and Kyle Barber (Toronto 2016) in Para nordic skiing – while Nadine Richards (Calgary 2018) and Sarah Anne Cormier (Toronto 2017) are members of Canada Snowboard’s Para NextGen program, and Mike Trauner and Ed Urquhart (both Toronto 2016) represented Canada on the national sprint Para canoe team last summer.
For more information about Paralympian Search and to register for the upcoming Kelowna event, please visit: Paralympic.ca/paralympiansearch.