MONTREAL – ParaTough Cup fuelled by Petro-Canada™ returned to the city of Montreal for its third annual iteration of the Para sport fundraiser on Thursday and raised more than $104,000 for sport for people with a disability.
A total of 14 teams participated in the event, competing in different Paralympic sports like sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. Fasken 2 won the trophy thanks to their skills both on the field of play and in raising funds for the cause. Fasken had three teams participate and raised nearly $30,000 between them.
Co-emceed by Paralympic swimmer Camille Bérubé and TSN radio host Shaun Starr, a number of Para athletes were on hand to help with the sports and meet with the teams, including: Rio 2016 Paralympians in Para swimming Nicolas-Guy Turbide and Abi Tripp, PyeongChang 2018 silver medallist in Para ice hockey Rob Armstrong, London 2012 wheelchair basketball Paralympian Elaine Allard, and Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games wheelchair rugby silver medallist Mélanie Labelle.
“This is great visibility, I’ve always dreamed that it would be so cool to get people involved in a Para sport day and this is literally it,” said Tripp about what events like ParaTough Cup can do for Para sport. “People are so excited and they’ve either only seen it on TV or never before, and participants get a whole new thing where they go ‘wow that’s actually hard’, and a whole new appreciation for Para sport, that you need to be an athlete to be really good and we take it seriously.”
The participants, who are part of teams that commit to raise at least $5,000 to enter, said they definitely learned a lot throughout the fun and entertaining afternoon.
“It’s great, the sports are a lot of fun to do,” said Joseph Kessler, managing director of ICU Medical, who was participating in his second ParaTough Cup. “I realize and appreciate what the Paralympians actually do and how awesome they are at their sports, and it’s great to see everyone get together and put some support behind them.”
“I think this is amazing, it’s wonderful exposure to the difficulty and challenges of these types of competition,” said Valerie MacPherson, safety team lead at Pfizer as she finished trying Para ice hockey in a sled. “The whole awareness and participation and spirit of the day is amazing.”
Co-emcee Bérubé, a London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympian, says she had a great time at the event and encourages more people to participate.
“I think people often underestimate how hard Para sport is, and I think more people should get involved in ParaTough Cup and be part of the experience,” she said. “A, to meet athletes, B raise funds for a good cause, and C test out the sports and see what we’re all about and what we do.”
The next ParaTough Cup fuelled by Petro-Canada™ of the 2019-20 season will take place in Vancouver on November 22, followed by events in Calgary and Toronto in the new year. For more information, please visit Paralympic.ca/foundation/paratough-cup.