The Canadian Paraplegic Association (CPA) of Ontario, Canada organized their third annual wheelchair relay challenge in Peterborough to raise money and awareness for spinal cord injury sufferers of Canada. The event brought in $11,000 last year and $7,500 this year, according to a Peterborough Examiner article. The relay, in addition to providing fun and challenge to wheelchair-bound athletes, also exhibits the profound abilities of the athletes for able-bodied people to see. Amy Gagne of CPA Ontario told the Peterborough Examiner that the relay gives “people who are able bodied a learning tool of how people in a wheelchair function from day to day.”
One of the relay team members, Krijn de Rijke of Peterborough, plays sledge hockey and wheelchair basketball, and he does not suffer from a spinal cord injury. He takes part in the events to experience life from a wheelchair. He said, “You get to see life from a different perspective. I think it’s very hard to understand what people are going through until you go through it yourself,” in the article.
The Peterborough wheelchair relay was just one of 15 similar events held across Ontario in February 2010 The CPA Ontario has further events planned for March of this year. The Windsor Wheelchair Relay Challenge will take place on Sunday, March 28, 2010 in Windsor, Ontario. The CPA Ontario website said, “Push yourself to the limit with the 3rd Annual Wheelchair Relay Challenge. RACE with your team around a course with other hardcore wheelers, or cruise the course at your own pace. Whether an individual or part of a team, register today and join us as we raise money to support individuals with a spinal cord injury achieve self-reliance.”
A Lindsay Post article reported the purpose of the wheelchair relay events is to, “help people better understand the experience of using a wheelchair and to raise funds for those with physical disabilities.” We congratulate CPA Ontario and all participants for their inspiring persistence and determination in organizing and participating in these important events.
Isaacson, Fiona. (March 2, 2010) “Wheelchair relay raises funds and awareness.” Retrieved on March 3, 2010 from the Peterborough Examiner Web site:http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2471133
The Lindsay Post Staff. (February 12, 2010) “Wheelchair proving no obstacle.” Retrieved on March 5, 2010 from the Lindsay Post Web site: http://www.thepost.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2446662
CPA Ontario. (March 3, 2010) “Windsor Wheelchair Relay Challenge.” Retrieved on March 5, 2010 from the CPA Ontario Web site: http://www.cpaont.org/events