Young wheelchair basketball player Joel Ewert caught the eye of wheelchair rugby coaches when he represented Team BC in wheelchair basketball at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. To help him get involved, our Bridging the Gap program coordinators hosted a Have a Go Day in his hometown of Prince George. With community support, the BTG program launched a new wheelchair rugby program in Prince George and provided equipment, coach education and mentorship to keep it thriving.
The efforts paid off. This January, Joel was selected to attend the Wheelchair Rugby Prospects Camp in Toronto, where he impressed coaches with his natural talent and work ethic. He then made the provincial wheelchair rugby team, and was selected to attend the 2016 Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Championships. In the gold medal game, a teammate’s injury forced Joel into the starting lineup. He responded to pressure exceptionally well, proving that he could compete with the best athletes in the country after only a year of experience. Given all that Joel’s accomplished in his first year of the sport, we can’t wait to see what the next few years bring!