VANCOUVER – It was a sold-out event at ParaTough Cup this past Friday, with the primary fundraiser of the Paralympic Foundation of Canada reaching a record fundraising high of $115,000 for the Vancouver edition.
The first ParaTough Cup of the 2023-24 season 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.
Will, CPC’s brand agency, took the crown with RBC second and the law firm Fasken third.
Lululemon, the title sponsor of the Vancouver event, entered four teams. Other participants were Coastal Mountain Fuels, Harper Grey LLP, Toyota Canada, BLG, Invictus, Pfizer Canada, Teck, and EllisDon.
“It was an honour to be here and contribute to social change and at the same time learn and experience Para sport for the first time,” said Nick Richards, chief creative officer at Will. “Playing the sports was truly a humbling experience.”
The event attracted several current and past national team Para athletes including Tara Llanes, currently on the women’s wheelchair basketball team, and Michael Edgson, a 21-time Paralympic Games medallist in swimming.
“Having all these partners which are committed to helping Para sport is a huge step for us,” said Llanes, who provided advice and assistance to the event participants. “As athletes, seeing this kind of event and feeling that support from major companies that see inclusivity as essential for our society makes me feel grateful and thankful.”
Edgson was at the event as a competitor.
“You can feel the ParaTough Cup’s groundswell really growing,” said Edgson. ‘’We’ve gone from eight to 16 teams for the Vancouver event, and I find this year the actual fundraising has been particularly outstanding. Of course, the competition seems to get fiercer every time.”
The next ParaTough Cup is on November 9 in Montreal.