ParaTough Cup in Toronto collects $119,000 for Para sport

Canadian Paralympic Committee

March 23, 2023

Money goes towards funding Para sport at all levels


TORONTO – ParaTough Cup fuelled by Petro-Canada™, the primary fundraiser of the Paralympic Foundation of Canada, made a spectacular return to Toronto on Wednesday after a three-year absence raising $119,000.

The event attracted a sellout 16 teams from 12 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.

In his opening remarks, CBC sportscaster Scott Russell warned the participants: ‘’you are going to experience sport like never before. You are going to see how awesome and tough Para sport is.”

At the end of a three-hour sportsfest at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, Petro-Canada took the top prize followed by the Sobeys #2 team and Legal Lab which featured the top individual fundraiser, Jennifer Labrecque.

Sobeys, Pfizer, Toyota, and EllisDon each entered two teams. Other participants were the Canadian Olympic Committee, Mawer Investment Management Limited, Canadian Tire, Fasken, Bell Canada and Ottobock Canada.

Rowan Rockley, a marketing lead with Petro-Canada, echoed Russell’s statement at the end of the day as he raised the Cup with his teammates in his first foray at ParaTough Cup.

‘’I got humbled today,’’ he said. ‘’The sports are awesome, and we learned a lot of lessons from the athletes here both on the court and the fireside chat. It was just a great team building experience as well for our organization.”

In fact, 10 national team Para sport athletes were onsite for the event. They told their stories during fireside chats hosted by Russell and also coached teams at the various sport stations. On hand were Para ice hockey players Dominic Cozzolino, Tyler McGregor, and Billy Bridges, sitting volleyball players Nasif Chowdhury and Darek Symonowicz, wheelchair basketball players Bo Hedges and Tamara Steeves, discus thrower Renee Foessel, Para alpine skier Erin Latimer, and Para cyclist Mike Sametz.

‘’There’s a lot of financial challenges for Para athletes,’’ said Chowdhury, not only a top sitting volleyball player but a member of Team Ontario in wheelchair basketball earlier this month at the Canada Games. ‘’There are fees and expenses that are not yet covered, equipment like a wheelchair that I had to pay for and maintain as well.

‘’So an event like this is amazing. To have people and big organizations come out and support Para sport and help out athletes who need financial assistance is really going to benefit our future.’’

Since its inception in 2017, the ParaTough Cup event series has raised more than $1.4 million for Para sport in Canada. This was the fifth time Toronto has hosted ParaTough Cup but the first since early 2020 due to the pandemic.

It was also the fourth and final ParaTough Cup of the 2022-23 season. Plans are underway for a new season this upcoming fall.

Can Crew Newsletter

Receive the latest news, athlete stories, and behind-the-scenes access directly to your inbox.

"*" indicates required fields