Story 38: Associate Sports
In addition to the three core sports (wheelchair rugby, wheelchair tennis and athletics), BCWSA also administers three associate sports: curling, floor hockey and target sports. Today we take a look at these three sports and the athletes, coaches and volunteers who take part in them. All three sports are always looking for new members, so if you’d like to try one out, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Target sports are included in the Paralympics and, over the years, BC has sent several athletes (notably Chris Trifonidis) to represent the province on the world stage. The BC Wheelchair Target Sports Association is always looking for beginning recreational players as well as elite competitive players. Both quadriplegics and paraplegics play, as well as athletes with other disabilities. When they’re not competing, target sports athletes conduct sport demonstrations for community groups, schools, and rehabilitation centres and promote the safe use of rifles and handguns in shooting sports. No experience or equipment is necessary. Below, you can see a slideshow of BC’s target sport members, including Chris, Doug Blessin and long-time volunteer Jack Ramsay.
Remember when Canada’s curling rink made the whole country proud at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics? Yes, those athletes were all from BC. Though it’s a relatively new sport, wheelchair curling has taken off across the province and there are currently programs in the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, the Okanagan, Victoria and Prince George. Wheelchair curling is co-ed and can be played by quadriplegics, paraplegics and people with significant disability in the lower limbs.
Wheelchair ball hockey is played mostly on a recreational basis in BC, though tournaments featuring teams from across the USA and Canada have taken place in the past. The league started in 1991 when a group of newly injured guys at G.F. Strong began playing around with cut-down hockey sticks and a ball and soon took off. In 1998, a team went down to L.A. to play in a ball hockey tournament and came in second place. Today, thanks in large part to the efforts of athlete Hilary Brown, there are now enough athletes in the Lower Mainland to form two teams. Wheelchair ball hockey is especially popular with athletes from other sports, who use it as a form of cross training.
Here is a slideshow of our three associate sports: