Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Canadian Paralympic Committee encourages sport for all on UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 3, 2012

Athletes with a disability reflect on how sport has influenced their
life path

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OTTAWA, Dec. 3, 2012 /CNW/ – Today, the UN International Day of Persons
with Disabilities, Canadian Paralympic medallists, coaches and
development athletes are telling their powerful, personal stories of

Whether born with a disability or having acquired one later in life,
athletes involved in parasport experience firsthand the many benefits
from participating – and share the wish that more Canadians will get
involved, whether as an athlete, coach, parent, volunteer or fan.

“Every child in Canada has the right to participate in sport,” says
Henry Storgaard, CEO of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “Sport opens
the door to many great life experiences and our goal is to encourage
more Canadians with a disability to get involved and enjoy firsthand
the many benefits that participation brings.”

Currently, less than three per cent of Canadians with a disability are
active in organized sports. That’s a statistic that the Canadian
Paralympic Committee is working to improve, through the recruitment
campaign, “It’s More Than Sport,” produced by BBDO Toronto. View the public service announcement online
at www.youtube.com/CDNParalympics.

“For Canada to have a podium full of medalists, we need to have a
playground full of kids playing parasport,” says Storgaard. “We need to
ensure that kids with a disability know that participation in sport is
an option for them. There are many transferable benefits that playing
sport can provide a person with a disability, from rehabilitative to
personal development. I know parents will see this campaign and want to
give their child the chance to benefit from the experience of

Sport not only builds great athletes, it builds great people.
Friendship, confidence, and opportunity are three of the top benefits
both parents and children cite as reasons to get involved in sport.

“I’m so grateful that when I was 13, I saw an athlete on TV with the
same disability as mine, which made me realize that one day I could be
a Paralympic athlete too,” said Benoît Huot, a Paralympic champion
swimmer from Montreal who has won 19 medals in four Paralympic Games.
“It’s really important to make sure the next generation of children
with a disability have the same opportunities.”

“To be featured in the It’s More Than Sport commercial is amazing,” said Cassidy Sheng, 12, a leg amputee swimmer
from Toronto. “I love swimming and am so proud to show people that
swimming is one of the many fun sports that kids with a disability can

Visit www.paralympic.ca/getinvolved to learn more about ways to get involved, whether as an athlete, coach,
parent, volunteer or parasport champion.

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee

The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization
with 46 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the
Paralympic movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee’s vision is to
be the world’s leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the
development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to
enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By
supporting Canadian Paralympic athletes and promoting their success,
the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a
disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its
member organizations.

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Source: PR Newswire