Chris Aalders / Two Rivers Rowing Club
Chris has had a spinal cord injury – paraplegia for almost 16 years. “During this time, I always played wheelchair basketball, but I was looking for another sport for the summertime”. He was introduced to para-rowing at Two Rivers Rowing Club in Fredericton, who uses equipment borrowed from Para NB – Sport & Recreation. Chris started his workouts on the erg machine and it did not take long for him to realize the many incentives for continuing with the workout, such as correcting his posture, increasing his strength and stamina and losing weight, something which he had been struggling to do for many years. “I enjoy doing an activity with others that can involve all types of abilities and realizing that I could row as long and far as the others in my group”. When COVID-19 hit, Chris was able to take one of the erg machines home with him, on loan from the ELS, so he could continue his workouts while in isolation.
Village of Petitcodiac
For the last two years, the Village of Petitcodiac has participated in an equipment-sharing partnership between Para NB – Sport & Recreation and several municipalities. The Town of Riverview initiated the partnership in 2018 by borrowing a variety of adapted winter sporting equipment for their Winter Carnival. They deemed it such a successful addition to their activities that the following year Riverview contacted Para NB and worked out a plan to share the equipment with six other municipalities. Each community loves having an adapted option for their residents and people seem to have a lot of fun trying new ways to participate. In fact, for this year’s Winter Carnival, the Village of Petitcodiac borrowed the hockey sledges twice!
Blake / Hockey NB & Fundy Para Ice Hockey
Blake, who does not use words to communicate, non-ambulatory boy, had never gone ice skating before. When Hockey NB & Fundy Para Ice Hockey teamed up with Para NB – Sport & Recreation to hold a Have-A-Go sledge hockey event in his hometown, his mother wanted him to give it a try. “As his mom, I just want him to be able to experience the world and give him those opportunities like every other child”. Blake enjoyed it so much that his mom, Michelle, borrowed a sledge from our Equipment Loan Service so he could go skating for the rest of the winter. “Seeing his smile and his eyes glow while gliding on the ice on the sledge….makes my life easier knowing my son can and will experience many activities in his own special way with help from the modified equipment”.
Nashwaak Valley School
Kaley’s teacher, Mrs. Gill, wanted to find a way to get her outside for recess in the winter so she could join her classmates instead of staying inside the school and missing all the fun. A quick call to Para NB – Sport & Recreation gave her the solution she had been looking for and she borrowed a hippocampe from the Equipment Loan Service. With all-terrain wheels and an interchangeable ski kit, the hippocampe makes it possible for Kaley to go outside every day and play with her friends! “She loves it! She was very excited and so were the other kids which is so cool”.
In September, École Notre-Dame discovered that they had a student with a newly acquired physical disability. The teachers wanted to find ways to include them in all physical education activities. Mr. Mallais therefore contacted Para NB – Sport & Loisirs to borrow adapted sports equipment. They were able to borrow various equipment so that entire classes could participate alongside this student. “The students really enjoyed the experience”!