An Athlete’s Wish
— I.Bruce Kidd
Sport for athletes with a disability has been separate and distinct from able-bodied sport for most of its over-25-year history. But the winds of change are blowing in Canada’s sport system and equal opportunity for all Canadians is on the horizon.
Dedicated to the pursuit of personal excellence, regardless of physical limitations, Canada’s athletes with disabilities have the same drive, dedication, commitment and passion to succeed shared by all athletes.
Sport has the same value and meaning to all athletes. It provides opportunities:
– to be physically active
– to pursue personal excellence
– to have fun
– to test physical and mental skills
– to achieve and take pride in accomplishments
– to learn about being fair, about sharing and about being part of a team
Athletes with disabilities want the same things from their sport experiences as able-bodied athletes:
– to be valued and respected for their abilities
– to be part of a friendly and safe environment
– to be part of a team that values fair play
– to be supported in the pursuit of personal goals
– to strive for personal excellence
– to have opportunities to participate in sport
“Sport is the mirror of how society views itself,”says Rick Hansen.
Like society, sport is continually evolving and developing and sport equity is one step in its evolution.
What is sport equity? In short, it means being fair and valuing the participation of all Canadians in sport.
Sport equity is more than just one small step in sport, it is part of a giant leap in the development of a social environment that embraces all Canadians, regardless of abilities.
(Sandy Johnson is the Communications Director of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association.)
Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion Legacy Fund has been a proud supporter of Canada’s wheelchair athletes and a valued partner in promoting sport equity for over five years. The Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association is grateful for its continued financial and moral support. Together, we will improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.