ESNB News

Accessible Sports in New Brunswick

December 29 2009

"Someone told Sarah the first time Sabrina (Durepos, a wheelchair basketball paraolympian) went out it took her two hours to get her first basket, Sarah's response to me was 'And she has two good hands, Mom, and I've only got one,' and she got it within the first hour."

It didn’t stop there, Sarah got three baskets that very first night, says Beth Lord mother of Sarah Lord one of the participants in the new Easter Seals New Brunswick Abilities program. The program was started this fall and is intended to give children with a physical disability an introduction into a variety of accessible sports. Participants have the opportunity to try sports such as wheelchair basketball, archery, curling, sledge hockey and skiing.

It is incredibly important for people to stay active. This has been difficult for teenagers in New Brunswick, as there are very few accessible sport programs in the province. This program is giving teenagers with disabilities the chance to not only be active but to experience being on a team. The participants are able to be social, meet new friends, gain self confidence and discover their abilities while gaining a stronger sense of independence. Parents get the opportunity to cheer as their children score a goal, get a basket, and hit the target.

There is a great need for programs like this in more New Brunswick cities. Eventually, Easter Seals NB would love to see similar models running in all the major cities. This program has come as a very welcome addition to the participant’s lives and their families.

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